More Than A Penny’s Worth of Effort
In a conscious effort to incorporate elements beyond their standard punk riffs, Pennywise deliver a little differently on ninth album Reason to Believe. With the return of the high-energy sound the group became known for on their first few albums, coupled with pumping drums and bass, heavy riff-laden melodies, and better-than-usual lead vocals from Jim Lindberg, the latest effort from the group stands out as a gem among recent punk offerings.Powerful opener â€šÃ„Ãº(Intro) As Long As We Canâ€šÃ„Ã¹ declares Pennywise still have it after all these years with hard lyrics and wound-up guitars. Continuing through the album, the themes are all over the place. Political and cultural content get reamed out in â€šÃ„ÃºNothing to Lose,â€šÃ„Ã¹ leaving the listener feeling just as angry and outraged as members of the band. Religion takes a beating in both â€šÃ„ÃºAll We Needâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºFaith and Hope,â€šÃ„Ã¹ and the band begs for a little privacy and turns criticism toward the media in â€šÃ„ÃºThe Western World.â€šÃ„Ã¹ The album ends with â€šÃ„ÃºDie for You,â€šÃ„Ã¹ which despite taking the last spot on the album should not be missed. A track of such intense longing and sadness, the listener canâ€šÃ„Ã´t help but feel a bit sad and lonely as the track ends.
Since the passing of bassist Jason Matthew Thirsk in the mid-’90s, the band has been scrutinized for not being anywhere near as good as they were in the late â€šÃ„Ã²80s and early â€šÃ„Ã²90s. This album is the first real hint that maybe some of the magic still exists, although it sounds best when listened to in its entirety instead of in pieces.
Pennywise had recorded over sixty songs for Reason to Believe and broke it down to fourteen tracks of nonstop punk rock. Avid punk fansâ€šÃ„Ã®even anyone who considers themselves just a Bad Religion enthusiastâ€šÃ„Ã®should make a point of grabbing this album and giving it well-deserved attention.