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Pennywise – Yesterdays | Album Review

Hermosa Beach punks Pennywise are back with their eleventh studio album Yesterdays. Find out what we thought here!

Credit: Album Cover

Credit: Album Cover

The phrase ‘less is more’ is something heard all too often. But what does it really mean? We can tell you in this case, it is that of US punk four-piece Pennywise‘s new album Yesterdays. With it being their eleventh studio release to date, it can be a difficulty as to know where to go for fresh, invigorating concepts. This, they have included in abundance.

The album sees the return of Jim Lindberg as frontman as the quartet draw on influence from tracks that were written back in the late 80’s before bassist Jason Thirsk sadly passed away in 1996. Yesterdays attempts to take their original, ‘nuts and bolts’ blueprint to punk and turn older songs into something new with modern recording equipment. Pennywise have prided themselves on sticking to what they know best, and this album does exactly that. No more, no less.

The album opens in a gutsy sing-along chanty fashion in the form of ‘What You Deserve’. Its no nonsense, perky attitude gives it an undeniable catchy edge; the essence of what a record must to do to hook you in. It doesn’t let up either on the band’s trademark of political lyrical content that has put them as a benchmark in the scene. The track’s high-paced drum beats don’t let off steam as ‘Restless Time’ follows. It pursues its predecessor in its use of a quirkier opener before erupting into all traits punk. Its a short and sweet one minute 25 seconds of weird vocals, rapid percussion and riffs rough enough to make it onto the waves of Hermosa Beach.

Although bands such as a Blink-182 and Green Day are seen to be the champions of the punk world, Pennywise’s influences from heroes Bad Religion showcase their side to punk as what it truly is. A style that has kept its essence of perfection by cultivation of the basic elements that make up a good record. Vocality, musicality and tracks as long as they need to be. ‘Violence Neverending’ ticks all the boxes. Whilst still not letting up on the band’s political stance, it gives an insight into the emotion that this record entails, despite its upbeat attitude. Closer ‘I Can Remember’ reflects on Lindberg’s memories of Thirsk, whilst ‘She’s A Winner’ embodies Thirsk’s at-the-time girlfriend into a concoction of driven and demanding vocal style intertwined with effervescent riffs.

Ultimately, long-time Pennywise fans will be in awe of this record as it returns to the core of what this band started out from. From the incorporation of the band’s original frontman, to using material written with the late Thrisk; its a tribute to the fans who have stuck around for their journey. Whilst it may not please many new ears due to its largely repetitive nature, it doesn’t matter. This album was written not to gain new followers, but to re-energise where Pennywise have come from, and that they have certainly achieved.

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