I’ve always liked pop-punk. It was the only socially acceptable form of mindless pop escapism available to teenage boys at the time, but perhaps it was a required taste of everyone coming of age in 1990s Southern California. Sum 41 were not part of that scene, but if I hadn’t already known they were Canadian I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn they were from Carlsbad or Huntington Beach.
I was already out of high school when “Fat Lip” broke, but I bought the album anyway because being a nineteen-year-old college student doesn’t preclude one from listening to silly bullshit. (The same goes at thirty-five as far as I’m concerned). I think I listened to it once or twice and promptly shelved it. Between the time Sum 41 fell off radio playlists and now I’ve listened to to “Fat Lip” exactly once when, a year or so ago, my friend Lindsey attempted it at karaoke. I don’t how or why it appeared in my dream—I was helping my brother write a song?—though the guitar riff and chorus are undeniably catchy. The rapping is mildly embarrassing but not the worst from that era and the breakdown bridge section is bad, but otherwise this song is a lot of fun.
“It’s none of your concern, I guess I’ll never learn. I’m sick of being told to wait my turn.”