Pennywise : All Or Nothing
After proving himself to Aussie fans on the Soundwave tour 2011, new frontman Zoli Teglas has undertaken the challenge of writing with the seminal punk rock act on their tenth studio album. When opener and title track bursts through the speakers, things sound promising.
The album kicks off at full speed – and the pace doesn’t ease up from start to finish. Musically interesting, full of energetic foot-to-the-floor riffs, a fast steady punk beat and embellished by expert guitar lead breaks and licks (see All Or Nothing, Tomorrow and the harmonic tricks on Generation X), the album reflects the band’s maturity and experience while still stylistically maintaining true to their punk roots.
Lyrically, however, it lacks the same consistency. While songs such as All or Nothing and Generation X are quite well-crafted, tracks often feature cringe worthy rhymes (“It’s time we had our say/The injustice cannot stay”) best observed on Let Us Hear Your Voice. While undoubtedly catchy, this wannabe rock anthem is dripping with corn. Like much of the album, lyrically Let Us Hear Your Voice sounds less like the incensed protest of a political punk band and more like a motivational speech (perhaps an attempt to mimic Jim Lindberg’s rally cries?), and personal number Seeing Red is delivered with much more conviction and aggression.
Vocally capable, approaching the task with a much more melodic style and a fantastic ear for hooks, Teglas complements and enhances select tracks (Revolution, Generation X) but others come across as cheesy (We Have it All, All Along, Tomorrow).
With undeniably memorable, sing-along tracks and flat-out punk rock riffs, All Or Nothing is a release of reasonable quality, and not a bad listen. But lyrically unsound and heavily melodic, it mightn’t tick the right boxes for older fans.
BY KIMBERLY CROXFORD
Best Track: Generation X
If You Like This, You'll Like These: THE OFFSPRING, SUM 41
In A Word: Lukewarm