Pennywise. No, not the clown. I’m talking about one of the most popular and influential punk bands in punk rock. But if you’ve never heard of them, let me give you a little history lesson. They are one of the very first bands credited with starting the whole “it’s cool to listen to punk music and be a surfer/skater” thing back in the late 80s and early 90s. Pennywise has been going strong ever since, now having released ten full length albums. However, this new one “All Or Nothing” is the first to feature a new vocalist Zoli Teglas. The whole new vocalist thing caused quite a stir in the punk community, as their former and original singer Jim Lindberg was not only a huge fan favorite, but one of the most recognized voices in the history of the genre. So how would this new album be received?
I’ll just start off by saying that Zoli’s vocals on this album are awesome. His style perfectly suits the music, and at some points, I still think Jim is singing. Now, onto the songs. The album starts with a flurry of catchy, sing-a-long tracks that may be some of the catchiest songs the band has ever written. They also sound a lot more “polished” than a lot of the band’s older stuff. An example can be “Revolution”… a very cliche song, but you can’t deny the catchiness of it. Plus, the verses remind me a LOT of “The Kids Aren’t Alright” by the Offspring.
“Let Us Hear Your Voice” is probably the strongest track on the album. Awesome drumroll to start leading into what may be one of the best anthems of the year, featuring one of the best choruses the band has ever written. This is also their first single. “We Have It All” comes in second place in terms of being one of those amazingly fun, sing-a-long type tracks that should go over well live. Could it be this album’s “Bro Hymn“? Maybe (Probably not, but it’s still a great track).
“Stand Strong” and “Seeing Red” are two songs that bring me back to when I was first getting into them. Gang vocal chants and super sped up vocals were always a staple in old Pennywise songs.
After listening to this record multiple times, the best conclusion I can think of is that this is simply an old Offspring album juiced on steroids.
I can still remember buying their 1993 release “Unknown Road” and immediately falling in love… I didn’t know music could be so fast, yet so catchy. That’s the exact same type of feeling I get with this record.
Listen to “Let Us Hear Your Voice”: