Hermosa Beach locals and punk rock legends, Pennywise have released their twelfth studio record and it’s a fucking belter! It’s been four years since their Yesterdays album and a massive ten years since their last ‘new music’ release with Jim on vocals. So to say they are due is an understatement.
So was the wait worth it? It’s mother fucking Pennywise, of course it was!! It’s uncompromising, unrelenting, intelligent, challenging, up-lifting and it’s FAST. I’m a loooong time PW fan and one thing I love about them is that they stay true to their punk roots and their fans and Never Gonna Die definitely stays the course. Not a band to rehash the past, Never Gonna Die, like its eleven predecessors has its own identity, sound and feel. Of course there are similarities, and as much as I’d love another Self-Titled or Unknown Road record, this evolution and progress reflects a band at the top of its game and as relevant now as they were twenty-five years ago.
From the opening riff of the title track Never Gonna Die, through to the final track Something New, it doesn’t let up. Tackling social themes of injustice, corruption and hypocrisy and promoting a ‘fight til you die’ attitude, the album has no flat spots or filler. And not surprisingly, President Trump takes a few deserved hits.
PW has always been lyrically strong and Never Gonna Die is no different. Jim’s voice is strong, Fletcher’s riffs are tight and I don’t know how he does it, but Bryon’s drumming is off the chart, soooo fast!!
Look out for the awesome cover art too, featuring a sneaky little (maybe unintentional) throwback to About Time and the ticking PW time bomb. Get this record, you wont regret it.
If I had to pick a negative, on first listen I thought it was slightly over produced, although that just means the songs will sound even better when they are ripped live. Hopefully a tour is just around the corner.
Maybe I’m a little bias, but I don’t think there is a more relevant and true punk band than PW… and maybe Bad Religion.
Pennywise 4 Life!
Album Review by Tim Nicholas