From The Ashes
A case of not fixing what wasn't broken in the first place Punk bands don't generally cope too well with musical change. While we positively encourage more forward thinking genres to push the envelopes of music wide apart, the history of punk is littered with the casualties of progression. Bad Religion nearly scuppered their career by following their hardcore debut with a keyboard led pro-rock album, and Discharge lost their following overnight when their singer decided to switch to a falsetto. Pennywise, however, aren't so dim-witted, and for "From The Ashes" - their eighth full-length album - have stuck rigidly to the formula that got them this far. The good news is that Pennywise's melodic punk formula is still sounding minty fresh and full of life. Frontman Jim Lindberg is in fine voice, attacking each song with a combination of teeth gritting conviction and heart lifting melody, the guitars sound thick and abrasive and the pace never lets up for a second. Sure, they're still mercilessly aping their peers Bard Religion on the likes of "Salvation", but there's enough politically fuelled diatribe and blistering energy on here for Pennywise to truly do justice to the term punk. And how many so-called punk bands can you say that about these days?