Thanks, can't say I agree with it though. Maybe it's because I was 11 when Axl came out and Sum 41 was the only band I cared about, but that's the only AM! record I don't totally love and I think it's highly overrated. Some of the songs are good, I like "Walking is Still Honest" but overall it's pretty underwhelming compared to everything else.
Everybody's experience is a different one, I think. For me, I didn't get into them until Cowboy
came out. But I picked up Axl
immediately after, and fell in love. I related to that feeling referenced in the piece you linked, but didn't have quite the same reaction when they shifted gears. But I shifted gears as well, by the time the band had. If that makes sense...
I had found my spot in the "world" (well, sort of) and was a bit more focused on myself than external factors/things around me. So it worked. But I can see how other people may have felt differently.
I'll say this: The shows changed big time. Not so much even in terms of who attended, but I remember the first time I saw them. They were on a Fat Wreck tour, playing before Rise Against, Anti-Flag, and the Larry Arms--and after None More Black and the Soviettes. That was a CMJ show in NYC, so I doubt all the bands were on the bill the whole tour but either way...When AM! hit the stage the crowd was a sea of balled fists in the air, and there was just sort of this energy that I can't really describe, but that wasn't there in later years.
Very intangible, but there was a shift. I'm not saying it was better or worse (in my opinion, their live shows and songwriting have only gotten better) but...It was definitely different.