Music Reviews

Simple Plan

No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls


I’ll be the first to admit that I approached this hunk of major label “punk” with much skepticism. Most of you have cringed through the radio hit “Addicted,” and the band’s childish play on phonetics in the word “ad-DIC-ted.” But, I told myself that I would give the album a full listen before making a final judgment, regardless of my feelings going into the album.

That said, I did make it through the entire album without vomiting. “The Worst Day Ever” is a song that plays on the plight of Peter, the main character from the classic cinematic event Office Space. If you haven’t seen that movie, the premise is that Peter tells his therapist that every day feels worse than the one before, making every day of his life the worst day of his life. The boys of Simple Plan completely stole the idea from this film and made a song about it.

And then there is the album’s cookie-cutter, paint-by-numbers pop-punk stylizing, copping moves equally from both Blink 182 and Green Day. What sets this band apart is the vocalist’s whiney voice, which makes me think that he must be a fan of some corporate “emo” band, such as New Found Glory or Saves the Day. The guitars are safely distorted, as not to offend cheerleaders or jocks, and the vocal harmonies are so sticky sweet that I needed a napkin to wipe the syrup from my ears after listening to this.

Next, the album title: No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls. Not only is this incredibly juvenile, but it lacks both humor and a point. What it does do, however, is point out that, in some manner, the boys in this band were probably jocks in high school, who went to college and “found themselves” in corporate punk like Blink 182.

Finally, the obligatory hot chicks on the album’s artwork: who do these guys think they are? They’re supposed to be these sensitive punk rock kids, who are lovelorn. But their cover art is replete with Barbie-shaped models fawning all over them. I thought this type of deliberate exploitation of women ended along with Warrant and Poison! Apparently not…

Yeah, I made it through the album once, and I want my time back. This is the worst heap of pointless garbage that I’ve heard in a good six months. I hate the music, I hate the punk rock uniforms they wear, I hate their cliché punk rock haircuts, I hate the fact that they exploit women and, more than anything else, I hate the fact that my review will do nothing to stop these jerks from selling millions of records.

Simple Plan:

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