[ALBUM REVIEW] Pennywise – Never Gonna Die


1. Never Gonna Die
2. American Lies
3. Keep Moving On
4. Live While You Can
5. We Set Fire
6. She Said
7. Can’t Be Ignored
8. Goodbye Bad Times
9. Can I Get A Little Hope
10. Won_t Give Up the Fight
11. Can_t Save You Now
12. All The Ways U Can Die
13. Listen
14. Something New

Reviewed by Casper

Well let’s see if I can have my 1990’s inner punk reinvigorated, reborn and ultra-excited without gushing all over the digital pages in uncontrollable glee creating nothing more than a saliva laden pule of digital pulp.   I hope that sets the scene adequately because that is exactly what this brilliant album has done.

Perhaps past infighting, creative difference or the first fresh approach in a decade has made the difference for Pennywise, but in any case, they have created their very finest album in a while, and some will allege that this is their best ever.  Suffice it to say the Pennywise fans are going to be thrilled with this collection, a brand new batch of Pennywise fans will be welcomed into the fold but most of all, the music community will be thoroughly gobsmacked by what the band have achieve after 30 years in the business.

The approach is fresh and writing has, as is usually the case, been a collaborative effort with each band member fighting, spitting, biting and kicking to have their particular style wrestle to the fore.  This approach with a fresh sprinkling of angst, determination and a plethora of material prompted by current affairs, has resulted in a diverse sensational celebration of punk rock in several styles, and all executed in masterful form.

The twelfth full length album since the bands beginning and this one lack none of the socially and politically driven invitation to have a good look around at what’s going on, especially on tracks like American Lies.

The more one explores, the greater the realisation that album is sensationally diverse and has so many styles within punk represented from Can’t Be Ignored to listen.  To hear so much punk heritage in there is a reward all its own and the sequencing is superb.  To me, Pennywise have revitalised the essence of punk rock in one record and it would seem their intention was to celebrate different styles, or even influences for that matter, with a record chock full of freshness and brand-new material.

I love the intro to Goodbye Bad Times which brings about a certain camaraderie between rock, metal punk and all the subgenres, with a brief reflection on how we remain in the eyes of polite society.  Is it about aging, a reflection on the genre itself, or as Fletcher offers in a recent chat with me, an account of the personal journey of Randy on the wagon?  This tremendous track by Randy, and of course finished in collaboration with Jim, reminds re personally of Jason Thirsk, and I mean that with all the respect I can muster.  I don’t know why this makes me think about Jason. It’s not the lyrics, but perhaps the melancholic nature of the music, but I love that it brings his memory back to me.

Every track on this suburb album has been finely crafted and no prises for guessing that the brilliant Cameron Webb has taken charge of production yet again for Pennywise.  The band last worked with Cameron on All Or Nothing in 2012 and before that Reason to Believe in 2008, so his influence has enjoyed a break but is back with a vengeance and working brilliantly for the contemporary Pennywise sound.  One of the few people who would get away with calling Fletcher an asshole when required, let alone try and jack the man’s ride. Cameron brings his skill yet again, but this time all involved have created something truly special.

Being on the Epitaph label is certainly nothing new for Pennywise and yet I cannot help but feel some Brett Gurewitz influence and even hear some Bad Religion in some of the tracks.  But then again, each track brings about a different flavour and feel in celebration of the punk genre, carried out to perfection.

As digits strike keyboard in furious excitement for this album Pennywise prepare to take their new fare on the road, beginning with the Sabroso Festiva at Dana Beach, California tomorrow.  I can’t wait to hear the howls of approval from Pennywise faithful, blended with screams of bewildered glee from those new to the band.  Expect a global celebration for this fantastic collection.  April 20th is the date for the record launch globally and Pennywise will embark upon a whole new period of celebration on the back of both a sensational work and most apt title indeed, Never Gonna Die.

Pre-Order NEVER GONNA DIE here: https://ffm.to/pennywise_ngd