|Pennywise - 'All Or Nothing' (Epitaph Records)|
|Written by Darrel Sutton|
|Monday, 28 May 2012 05:00|
When some bands lose founding members, particularly vocalists, it can have a pretty drastic or fatal effect on the band. Fans will lament their passing and invariably find fault where there isn't fault with any replacement. And so it was when Jim Lindberg left Pennywise in 2009 many thought it would be the end of the band. But co-founder Fletcher Dragge, rather than call it a day went and pulled an ace from up his sleeve. Having previously filled in temporarily in 2009, Zoli Teglas, also of Orange County legends Ignite, also decided to become Jim's permanent replacement the following year. And lo and behold, despite some outstanding shows the dissenting voices still reared their heads. So now that they've laid an album with Zoli at the vocal helm how does the new look Pennywise sound? In two words - Fucking Amazing.
I swear, since this album dropped it seems like the mood in my music world has gone up a million notches. God, this album is just so, so good. It's not like Pennywise were slacking in the latter days of the Lindberg years but 'All Or Nothing' just seems to be the sound of a band utterly revitalised. Anyone who's ever been familiar with Zoli and his work with Ignite over the years should find this fact quite unremarkable, as his contribution has been nothing but inspirational to anyone with a love of Hardcore. Indeed any fans of both bands probably couldn't believe their luck when they heard he was joining Pennywise (with the obvious caveat that it didn't affect Ignite, which it does appear it will).
Anyway back to 'All Or Nothing' and the songs. Well straight up, I have to say I can't find a weak one, and I do find it would be quite parochial to even pick specific highlights such is the standard of every single one. But if you do want some to really hang your hat on then the ideal start is 'United' which is an absolutely spine-tinglingly anthemic slice of the very best of Pennywise. Zoli's vocals are stunning and the chorus is made to punch your fist to. The number of times I've hit repeat on this song is ridiculous. The title track is another stormer, seeing Fletcher pulling out his infectious riffs and licks as well as ever. 'Waste Another Day' is a typical statement of positivity delivered at a frantic pace. 'Tomorrow' is the kind of song that made you fall for Pennywise way back in the day, brushed down and given a brand new shine. I've got to be honest, if Fletcher and Zoli had teamed up years ago, then to be honest a whole host of bands need not have bothered because the distance they would have opened up over the competition would have been insurmountable.
I've been listening to this album daily since the moment I first heard it and I can't see that trend changing anytime soon. I'm even debating if it's just a mere coincidence that since getting this album , this meteorological fuckwit of a country has managed to rise from the depths of winter and monsoons into something akin to a summer. Surely an album can't be that fucking inspirational. Maybe not but, shit on a stick, it is an absolute stormer.
To pick up your copy of 'All Or Nothing' - CLICK HERE