Some things never change, whether itâ€šÃ„Ã´s the fact that hot chocolate tastes better with marshmallows in it, that vinyl has a richer, warmer sound than CD, or the fact that Pennywise sounds like a Bad Religion rip-off. Their newest album The Fuse, is 15 tracks of punk rock that may as well be any other Pennywise album, or any Bad Religion album.Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s all there, the blazing fast guitar work, the â€šÃ„ÃºWhoa Whoaâ€šÃ„Ã¹ choruses, the simple melodies that get stuck in your head. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s Pennywiseâ€šÃ„Ã´s formula, and they have stuck to it since their album Unknown Road, which came out in 1993.
The problem with using a style that was coined by another band is that there is no real innovation, the formula winds up being followed to closely. By the time the album is half over and â€šÃ„ÃºThe Kidsâ€šÃ„Ã¹ begins playing, it all sounds muddled, as if it were one big track playing. As the harmonic yelling of â€šÃ„ÃºPremeditated Murderâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is happening, the listener is all but ready to turn it off.
The Fuse is melodic pop-punk in itâ€šÃ„Ã´s purest form. Each track is upbeat, with a catchy rhythm that after a while all begin to run into one another. After more than 10 years of writing similar music, one would think that Pennywise could write some different, more interesting material. The musical talent is there, but the songwriting is lacking, and this style of music is past its prime.
Someone could easily pull out one of Bad Religionâ€šÃ„Ã´s older albums and hear this style with a ferocity that Pennywise lacks. Fans of Pennywise, however, will be more than pleased.