Album Review: Pennywise - All Or Nothing

24 April 2012 | 10:17 am | Mark Hebblewhite

All Or Nothing isn’t the Pennywise record we were all hoping for.

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All Or Nothing is a perfectly acceptable Pennywise record, probably the best they've made in years, but it doesn't stack up to the weight of expectation that has been building since Jim Lindberg left the band some years ago.

All the elements are here – nitro charged riffs, life-affirming slogans and, most importantly, every song can be hummed with impunity. Thing is, the whole album feels a little, well, flat. The problem lies with Zoli Teglas himself: not his abilities, but how he's been used by his new band. In Ignite, the guy is an absolute monster; his vocals climb mountains and delve into valleys adding a power few punk rock bands can achieve. On All Or Nothing, it seems he's following a brief, and I hate to say it, but it's 'sound like Jim Lindberg'. Consequently Teglas' vocals are 'stuck in the middle', not quite muted but definitely restrained. Despite all this, long time Pennywise fans shouldn't panic. These songs will fit perfectly into the band's canon and I'll eat my chain wallet if the likes of Revolution and Let Us Hear Your Voice aren't being shouted out with glee by shirtless dudes everywhere on the band's upcoming world tour.

All Or Nothing isn't the Pennywise record we were all hoping for – that is a return to the brilliance of, say, Unknown Road – but it does serve as a statement of intent and a comforting reminder that this band can still bring it. It'll be the next album that really tells us whether Pennywise can once again streak ahead of the punk rock pack.