It's hard for me to get my head around, but 2008 is Pennywise's twentieth anniversary as a band, and it's now seventeen years since they released their Eponymous debut via Epitaph. God, how time flies eh???? During this time, the band has sold over 3 million albums worldwide, whilst within the process admirably dealing with and overcoming personal tragedy. "Pennywise" have certainly earned their punk rock stripes the hard way, and are justly regarded as "legendary" within the US punk community.
So onto "Reason To Believe" which is the band's ninth studio album. For this foray into the egg box madhouse, the band hired long-term "Pennywise" fan Cameron Webb (Motorhead, Sum 41 And Social Distortion) to handle the production job.
For a band that had seemingly reached breaking point during their world tour supporting 2005's "Fuse" album. "Reason To Believe" is certainly more than just an album title, this statement has been indelibly tattooed into the bands psyches and in particular vocalist "Jim Lindberg", who spits out the lyrical intent with venom and gusto on the albums bookend tracks of "As Long As We Can" and "Die For You". The "Pennywise" of 2008 certainly aren't dealing you a short hand in the commitment stakes.
Being a fan of bands like "The Living End", "Rancid" and "Poison Idea", I could easily listen to this stuff all day. But for the neutral, you will have to be a blinkered fool not to realise the melodic delights that lie behind the metallic blasts of tracks like "One Reason" and album standout cuts "All We Need" and "The Western World". This is rock played with passion and melody, and the songs will stick in your brain like they've been drilled in with the subtlety a reinforced steel Hilti bolt.
It's well worth noting that in the US "Pennywise" have inked a deal with "Myspace" to release Reason To Believe". Put as simply as possible this means between March 25th and April 8th 2008, you can download this album absolutely free of charge, with no bullshit freeware or strings attached. So don't go missing the Punk Rock bargain of the year. The rest of us can buy it from March 24th and the vinyl comes with 2 bonus tracks unavailable elsewhere.
Next up for "Pennywise" on the live front and taking "Reason To Believe" to the masses, are some dates in the Land of Oz before the band set off coast to coast in the US during July and August for 2008's "Warped Tour". The "No, shit here they go again" refrain of album opener "As Long As we Can" strangely springing to mind.
I guess guys the question now has to be "What chances of a UK "Pennywise" show at the Carling weekend then", eh guys guys?????
4 out of 5
by Johnny H.
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