Fourteen years after the release of their debut album (Which was their self titled effort in 1991) and Californian (Hermosa Beach) melodic punk rock act Pennywise is still going stronger than ever.
Now onto their eighth full length studio release (The follow up to 2003's From The Ashes, and the re-release of the remastered/enhanced versions of their first four albums earlier in the year by Epitaph Records), Pennywise still manage to stick to what they do best without losing sight of their core fan base expectations, or slipping into auto pilot mode like some other well known acts.
According to vocalist Jim Lindberg, The Fuse is a concerted effort for the band (Who also include guitarist Fletcher Dragge, bassist Randy Bradbury and drummer Byron McMackin) to return to their roots with a faster approach to recording (Without taking too much time over analysing the songs too much), and while the results aren't all that apparent, there is a certain energy throughout the album that is admirable for a band playing melodic punk rock for near on twenty years.
Apart from a slight tweaking in production values (The album was co-produced with long-time producer Darian Rundall), the sixteen songs that make up The Fuse stand up to long-time Pennywise favourites from throughout the years, with tracks such as the opener 'Knock Down', the fast paced 'Yell Out', the self explanatory 'Fox TV', 'Closer' and 'Disconnect' (Centred around people's obsessions with mobile phones) standing out as amongst the album's best.
With The Fuse, Pennywise reassure fans that there's still plenty of fire, passion and a whole range of social and political issues that are a cause for concern for the band members, and after so many years in the game, that's more than enough recommendation needed for and self respecting Pennywise fans to check out the band's latest album.