Simple Plan lacking key element

Matt Trapani

It’s always difficult for a brand new band to gain fame, or at least recognition. Only the most talented will even get airtime on the radio, and if they are lucky, become a one-hit-wonder. The fact that the band A Simple Plan now has not one, but two hit songs on the radio, says a lot about their debut album “No Pads, No Helmets … Just Balls.”

Pierre Bouvier, the band’s lead singer, and Chuck Comeau, the drummer, first started playing together while they were still in high school. They got their first big break while performing in the high school talent show.

Over time, and many name changes later, A Simple Plan was born. Three additional members also joined: Jeff Stinco (lead guitar), David Desrosiers (bass and back-up vocals) and Sebastian Lefebvre (guitar and back-up vocals).

The CD, which was released last year, has been steadily gaining popularity. Their debut single, “I’m Just a Kid” (in my opinion, one of the best songs on the CD) appeared on the soundtrack to the movie “The New Guy.” This song definitely speaks out to anyone who has ever felt they had no friends or were alone.

One of the lines in the song states, “I think I’ve got a lot of friends, but I don’t hear from them, what’s another night all alone when you’re spending every day on your own?” This is a feeling to which many people can relate.

Their biggest song to date would probably be the hit “I’ll Do Anything.” This song was the first one off the album to gain a significant amount of radio airtime and gained much popularity. The song features Mark Hoppus, lead singer of Blink-182; the fact that such a famous “punk singer” supports this band says a lot about A Simple Plan’s talent.

“Perfect,” the track which is quite possibly the best song on the CD, has yet to be played on the radio, or even featured on a movie soundtrack. While it doesn’t contain the hyper, chaotic sound most punk songs feature, “Perfect” is nevertheless worthy of mentioning. The song is about a son telling his father that he is unhappy with their relationship. The song sounds more like a ballad than your typical punk song, yet it still sounds amazing.

The one that major problem with the band is there is nothing new about them. Although their songs are very catchy and well-played, they sound a lot like the band A New Found Glory or SUM 41.

In a time when most punk fans complain about sell-outs and posers, sounding good sometimes just isn’t enough, especially if your band is as good as other bands. If you buy “No Pads, No Helmets … Just Balls” expecting to hear fun and thoughtful songs, then you will not be disappointed. However, if you buy this CD expecting to hear something new, then A Simple Plan probably isn’t for you.