It’s been 20 years since Simple Plan burst onto the scene with No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls. Yep, 20 years, sorry, everyone. But after 20 years, they’re back with their sixth record in Harder Than It Looks and let’s just get this out of the way now- they still fucking got it.
From the opening track, “Wake Me Up (When This Nightmare’s Over),” this sounds like classic Simple Plan. Then they rip into “Ruin My Life,” which features Deryck Whibley from Sum 41, “The Antidote” and “Million Pictures of You,” which all scream old school Simple Plan.
They call an audible with “Iconic,” though, which shows them going down the reinvention route- just like Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy did- and they really change it up but in a good way. This one features horns and could easily be featured on an NBA or NCAA playoff game package and should be a pleasant surprise for fans.
They wrap things up by going back to their roots with “Best Day Of My Life” and “Slow Motion” before closer “Two,” which goes hand-in-hand with classic Simple Plan ballads like “Crazy.”
In the end, Simple Plan prove they still have everything that made them so big in the first place. Harder Than It Looks has every element of angst as ever and is loaded with anthems. This record ranks right up there with the band’s debut as well as Still Not Getting Any- this album is that good.