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Pennywise - Reason to Believe (Cover Artwork)

Pennywise

Pennywise: Reason to BelieveReason to Believe (2008)
MySpace Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: thomas7155thomas7155
(others by this writer | submit your own)

2008 marks the 20th anniversary of the skatepunk institution known as Pennywise. Their last couple records seemed to indicate that they were no longer passionate about life and music and were turning into grumpy old men re-living the glory days. This was evident with the muted production, rehashed r.
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2008 marks the 20th anniversary of the skatepunk institution known as Pennywise. Their last couple records seemed to indicate that they were no longer passionate about life and music and were turning into grumpy old men re-living the glory days. This was evident with the muted production, rehashed riffs and pseudo-political lyrics on those records. Reason to Believe revitalizes them for (the) my (space) generation, with guitar riffs reminiscent of Straight Ahead and passionate lyrics, Full Circle- style. As well, they upped the ante on anyone who would download it illegally by offering it free to anyone who adds the TEXTANGO "friend" on MySpace. It comes in high-quality MP3s with artwork and lyrics in one big ZIP file.

"(Intro) As long as We Can" opens with the typical news clips and slow music, then transforms into a bona-fide Pennywise opener. It's not the most promising sign, but a good opener. The next song, however, is awesome. "One Reason" features a ripping metal riff, pummeling drums and a classic Pennywise chorus. Think "Alien" on fast-forward. Jim Lindberg's voice and Byron's drumming shine on the next three songs, "Faith and Hope," "Something to Live for" (great backups!), and "All We Need" (amazing riff!).

However, after "All We Need," we run into the album's first hiccup. "The Western World" lacks the element that made their slower songs great: a good chorus. You'll definitely be skipping this one, as not only is the song painfully slow, but the vocals are awful.

The next couple songs are above average, especially "We'll Never Know." "You Get the Life You Choose" -- the title very reminiscent of "Get a Life" -- rips like nothing they've done in the last decade, with devastating drumming and Lindberg's classic shout. "Affliction" finally achieves the quality of their classic "slow" songs, and "Brag, Exaggerate & Lie" is another ripper of a song. And while "Die for You" is fairly average musically, the lyrics are inspiring, pondering human existence and taking comfort in the trust of a loved one. It closes the album well.

Overall, I'd give Reason to Believe a 4.5. The lyrics, artwork, songs and the fact that it's free are all great. I cannot, however, forgive the offense called "The Western World." Unlike their forefathers in Bad Religion, Pennywise have revitalized themselves and their message for a new generation of punk fans, including myself. And while it is free, I don't think it's going to be that way forever. Get it now!

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Rise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteBad Religion - New Maps of HellRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessBad Religion - SufferBad Religion - The Empire Strikes FirstRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesA Wilhelm Scream - Career SuicideNOFX - Punk In DrublicDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeNOFX - The Decline

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
AK3punk (April 26, 2012)

Awesome album, makes up for how bad "The Fuse" and "From The Ashes" were.

jofx1992 (February 7, 2011)

i love every pennywise album and they to me are very different then bad religion. first of all its skate punk what do u expect

this album shocked me as to how good it was compared to the bland The fuse. certainly proffessional sounding and energetic. very energetic

chadillac (February 11, 2010)

I think it's there best album since Full Circle. I'd have to disagree on many points in this review. Say what you will about Western World. I heard it a billion times on the radio but it really is one of Lindbergs slickest and catchiest songs he ever wrote. Lyrically, vocally, and the music. I was bummed to hear he left the band. I think it's cool that Randy, Byron, and Fletcher are gonna find a new singer and keep it going but they shouldn't call it PENNYWISE. Without Jim it aint PW.

StandAlone (October 3, 2009)

Absolutely one of the best Pennywise releases... by far their best since "Straight Ahead".

dbug (February 24, 2009)

This album just kicks some major ass man! It just makes me wanna kick someones heart out!

MacbethMystery (February 20, 2009)

Certainly the best album since 2001's "Land of the Free?". I also love the bonus tracks.

hayman (February 15, 2009)

I don't get the Pennywise haters. This score is for every album they have put out. Fuckin incredible band.

Ignitedude (December 7, 2008)

Best Pennywise album since Straight Ahead hands-down.
Sincere and reinvigorating release for a band that was getting stale, get it now.

thomas7155 (August 13, 2008)

It reminds me of "Unknown Road"!!

Kafre (August 2, 2008)

The best Pennywise album since "Straight Ahead"

munker (July 4, 2008)

Good solid album.

thewise (June 21, 2008)

Terrible album, and this is coming from a guy with a pw tattoo.

MN_punkmaster-skaman (June 10, 2008)

Thanks for the free album!

crackpotdemagogue (April 25, 2008)

does no-one else see the irony in an album called 'reason to believe' being on 'myspace records'?

score is for tom from myspace

ak3punk (April 24, 2008)

I cannot believe how good this album is. I was expecting this to suck considering how TERRIBLE the last two albums were. I've been listening to this band for 11 years so I know my Pennywise and this is one of the their best. This is the best album they've done since Land Of The Free.

Like many people have said if you like Pennywise, this is a great album. If you don't your not going to be converted. This is Pennywise back in top form. If your going to compare this album to Bad Religion I'd compare it to "Process of Belief", after a few duds they finally came out swinging again. Even though this album is available for free to download I plan on buying it asap for my music collection.

Also I don't get the "bros"/"brahs" comments every time a good skate punk album gets reviewed. Maybe things are different up here in Canada and punks actually listen to skatepunk without any judgement.

Xithyl (April 22, 2008)

Great release. This band has been great since day one.

Jeevz (April 22, 2008)

Tonnes of BR similarities in this release. Back-ups especially.

SilentStorms (April 22, 2008)

P.S. I love the word whilst. Score is for the word.

SilentStorms (April 22, 2008)

I used to love these guys back in the day. Not going to get the album, but I thought the review was thorough whilst being straight to the point. Score is for the review.

AnotherBoringStory (April 22, 2008)

Glad someone else noticed the Stranger Than Fiction similarity. It's so similar, both in the melody and lyrics that I'm hoping it's a reference or a tribute. If it's a ripoff, it's an incredibly blatant one.

Ianw (April 22, 2008)

You guys sure do love grandpa music on fox news record label.

TheMike (April 21, 2008)

Affliction... doesn't sound like American Jesus at all. There are some obvious parallels between a good portion of this album and Bad Religion, but it's good enough that I don't need to worry too much about it.

The only thing that really bothered me was "...and the anchorman can't stop crying" from Western World, which had the same delivery as "and the lamppost can't stop crying" from Stranger than Fiction.

Jeevz (April 21, 2008)

Affliction totally sounds like a Bad Religion tune. The chorus is a straight rip of American Jesus! They even mention the modern man in the lyrics. Are they calling out BR or something?

paulrulzdood (April 21, 2008)

"you get the life you choose" is a lyric from "fight til you die" not "get a life" bro. got that brah?

album is dope, certainly their best since "land of the free?" and probably their best since "straight ahead".

If you like PW you'll like it a lot. If you don't like them, this will not change your mind.

Paul

ollywood (April 21, 2008)

Affliction is one of the best Bad Religion songs they didn't write.

Skawas (April 21, 2008)

I really love this album and I love this band. And it's good that they don't change their style! They play the same style since about 20 years now and that's so good. If you like Pennywise you know that you will also like every single album (more or less).

And about the idiots telling us "nothing new" and such crap. This IS what I want. If you need a new style of music you should go listen to AFI. The first records from AFI were great. Good and fast. And now? They have their new emo-gay-whatever-style. I can't take it!

For my part I'm happy with every single band who plays good punk music and if they don't mean to try always something new. For me there's no reason to change something that works pretty good...like the sound from pennywise.

theyounginfluential (April 20, 2008)

"with devastating drumming and Lindberg’s classic shout. "

i would never call anything on any Pennywise album "devastating"

Redscare (April 20, 2008)

I guess it was pointed out already, but how the fuck does a record on this site get a 9 when it's described as this:

"You’ll definitely be skipping this one, as not only is the song painfully slow, but the vocals are awful."

martinNZ09 (April 20, 2008)

Yawn, I bet it sounds just like every other release they have done - mediocre

Jeevz (April 20, 2008)

Same old Pennywise I guess. Reason To Believe is no better or no worse then their last three full lengths. What's with "We'll Never Know" sounding exactly like Fuck Authority. "Confusion" is by far the worst Pennywise song ever. Soooo slow, so bland. I could write that shit in my sleep!

GlassPipeMurder (April 20, 2008)

SELLOUTS, anytime someone hops on a label owned by FOXNews corp. they are indeed, SELLOUTS.

that's how i felt originally, but after finding out that Epitaph didn't even want to release this (you know, since pennywise doesn't wear eyeliner and sing about girls), i think releasing it free through a textango promotion is acceptable.

thomas7155 (April 20, 2008)

Yeah, change it to a 7 if you don't mind.

pinkbubblesgoape (April 20, 2008)

"I do not understand the appeal of this band. They've always been so vanilla. Nothing substantial to offer. There is likely to be a local band who does their style of skatepunk better than they in every town they play. It's amazing that it took them twenty to years to realize this uninspired, uninformed trash is not and was never worth paying for."

i could not have said it any better myself. so boring. so un-original.

KungPowza (April 20, 2008)

God bless Pennywise for staying true to their roots, they could just as easily go the route of past skatepunk groups like Millencolin or Goldfinger...

SydBarrett420 (April 20, 2008)

SELLOUTS, anytime someone hops on a label owned by FOXNews corp. they are indeed, SELLOUTS.

punk_rawk_show (April 20, 2008)

98 Mute were good

Affliction by PW is fucking sick

Will_StrungOut (April 20, 2008)

'I do not understand the appeal of this band. They've always been so vanilla. Nothing substantial to offer. There is likely to be a local band who does their style of skatepunk better than they in every town they play. It's amazing that it took them twenty to years to realize this uninspired, uninformed trash is not and was never worth paying for.'

Wrong. Pennywise (at least at the beginning of their career) wrote focused, hooky, memorable punk rock songs, and to be fair, their songwriting hasn't really deteriorated that much (can't say the same about Lindberg's voice).

Sure they're not that edgy (same with Bad Religion and most skate punk really), but I bet there's more substance here than any hookless, melodic skate punk bands in your town, especially cause I've never ever really seen a band that does exactly Pennywise's brand of skate punk be actually any good anyway.

BrandonSideleau (April 20, 2008)

Good album, but Pennywise never have been and never will be able to compare to Bad Religion. "New Maps of Hell" blows this album away.

punk_rawk_show (April 19, 2008)

Not their best album. But its very fucking good. much better than the Fuse

inagreendase (April 19, 2008)

Well, I didn't want to give it a low score, but I couldn't ignore it's faults. If it makes you happy, look at the score on my post.

I can change it to a 7 if that's what you meant to score it as. Not a big deal.

victim (April 19, 2008)

i personally think straight ahead is their weakest album. its got a few great songs but most of them dont really stand out. this is way better than that album

I can sorta see where you're coming from, but I thought Land Of The Free and From The Ashes were uninspired blah. Although I remember liking Yesterdays, whichever album that was on

This one is too Bad Religion-y for me to really love.

Alien (April 19, 2008)

I'd agree with this review.
well except that western wold isn't that bad of a song.
affliction, is awesome. for the slower pennywise kind of song.
the whole album is rockin.

pricey123 (April 19, 2008)

unknown road is my favourite by them

Torgo (April 19, 2008)

This review reads like a 3.5

Fallen_leaves (April 19, 2008)

i personally think straight ahead is their weakest album. its got a few great songs but most of them dont really stand out. this is way better than that album

thus_spoke_sean (April 19, 2008)

i can not type correctly right now.

thus_spoke_sean (April 19, 2008)

all the bitch YOU did.

sorry forgot that word.

thus_spoke_sean (April 19, 2008)

I've changed my opinion of "The Western World".

after all the bitching did about this review taking so long to get posted (Written) way to review it before you clearly formed your opinions.

props for doing something.....but in the future, try for a more accurate score and opinion.

jacknife737 (April 19, 2008)

Their best album in a long time... and i liked their last two. One of the best releases this year.

But why no love for " western world"? Its one of the better songs on the album.

thomas7155 (April 19, 2008)

Well, I didn't want to give it a low score, but I couldn't ignore it's faults. If it makes you happy, look at the score on my post.

agh (April 19, 2008)

yeah I dont get the average review and near perfect score

GlassPipeMurder (April 19, 2008)

am I literally the ONLY person who thought that The Fuse was their return to form and as good as Unknown Road, Straight Ahead, and Full Circle?

I thought Fuse was incredibly solid, and would probably agree with you. Better than Full Circle for sure.

thomas7155 (April 19, 2008)

I've changed my opinion of "The Western World". It's a tolerable song, and the gang vocals will make it a good live staple. And while The fuse was good, for every good song (Knocked Down, Disconnect) they had some terrible ones (Competition song, FoxTV)

shark-e (April 19, 2008)

I do not understand the appeal of this band. They've always been so vanilla. Nothing substantial to offer. There is likely to be a local band who does their style of skatepunk better than they in every town they play. It's amazing that it took them twenty to years to realize this uninspired, uninformed trash is not and was never worth paying for.

el_matt (April 19, 2008)

I haven't really bothered to check this out, since i'm not that big of a fan of Pennywise. "New Maps of Hell" was a great album though, so i don't know if i should believe the reviewer.

victim (April 19, 2008)

I think this record is good, but I have to ask: am I literally the ONLY person who thought that The Fuse was their return to form and as good as Unknown Road, Straight Ahead, and Full Circle?

Again, I like this record but sometimes I think The Fuse is Pennywise's bet album..probably just me I guess.

MrStylson (April 19, 2008)

that score was supposed to be a 5. damn scroll thing always screws me up.

MrStylson (April 19, 2008)

I really don't understand a mediocre review with a very high score.

This album was decent. Better than the last few, but it's still just a Pennywise album.

Nap (April 19, 2008)

Can't agree with the score. This is better than their last albums, but it's not that great to get a 9. Maybe a 7!!!

baseball (April 19, 2008)

Probably their best since Straight Ahead, but not nearly as good as that album, and pretty unmemorable overall. I think "Western World" is an alright song.

Pennywise always has and still sounds like a lyrically/musically watered down version of Bad Religion.

LameExcuse (April 19, 2008)

A well done review.

HOISTDATRAG (April 19, 2008)

wait a minute.. did you just say that Pennywise "revitalized themselves for a new generation" while Bad Religion didn't..? what the f?

Hey_Asshole (April 19, 2008)

this was free...and i still did not bother

Ignitedude (April 19, 2008)

I'm having trouble comprehending this review as Western World is catchy as hell.

Excellent album from a band that appears to be fully revitalized and ready yet again to excite the youth.

LookBackAndLaugh (April 19, 2008)

I wasn't aware Pennywise became a major world religion.

foolsgold (April 19, 2008)

The album sounds like Pennywise does Bad Religion. Not a fan. It's just the same stuff that's been done a million times before.

TheMike (April 19, 2008)

I also really like Western World... musically, that is... Not too fond of the lyrics.

the4footpartysub (April 19, 2008)

i've never really listened to much pennywise before and i really enjoyed this. i actually kind of like "the western world".

fallingupwards84 (April 19, 2008)

"However, after “All We Need,” we run into the album’s first hiccup. “The Western World” lacks the element that made their slower songs great: a good chorus. You’ll definitely be skipping this one, as not only is the song painfully slow, but the vocals are awful... The next couple songs are above average... I cannot, however, forgive the offense called “The Western World.”

...but ah what the hell, i'll give it an incredibly high near-perfect score anyway"

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