Pennywise is a four-piece punk rock group that has been at the front of the Californian punk scene since their formation in 1988. After changing their singer back in 2010, the group now consists of Zoli Téglás taking over for Jim Lindberg on vocals, Fletcher Dragge on guitar, Randy Bradbury on bass and Byron McMackin on drums. Their newest release, All Or Nothing, came out May 1. This record marks an even 10 now for Pennywise, and their first with Téglás, who took the reins and was able to lead this group in an excellent direction.
As most would expect from a punk record, All Or Nothing is fast-paced, aggressive and in-your-face. The first sentence that echoes through your ears as you listen is “What’s the fucking problem with this world today?” but rather than a punk record that just complains about how messed up the world is, the songs off of All Or Nothing offer a sliver of hope and happiness. With “X Generation,” Zoli talks about how Generation X is rising up and going to fix all that’s wrong, and in “Let Us Hear Your Voice” (my personal favorite off the album), the vocals urge listeners to stand up and “call their bluff” about freedom and democracy.
“All Or Nothing” and “Waste Another Day” keep true to the typical punk song template—fast as hell, great guitar solos and drums, and feverish passion, while “Songs Of Sorrow” and “Revolution” are more melodic and dare I say beautiful while maintaining that same passion. They also utilize the call and response method in tracks like “Stand Strong” and “Songs Of Sorrow”
Zoli Téglás was exactly what Pennywise was in need of after the departure of Jim Lindberg. His vocal power and range took the group to a new level on this disc. The passion and energy pours from every song. As for the rest of the group—if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.