PENNYWISE – THE FUSE

TRACK LISTING :

1- Knocked Down
2- Yell Out
3- Competition Song
4- Take A Look Around
5- Closer
6- 6th Avenue NightMare
7- The Kids
8- Fox TV
9- Stand Up
10- Dying
11- Disconnect
12- Premeditated Murder
13- Best I Can
14- 18 Soldiers
15- Lies

First of all,  »The Fuse » isn’t released yet, so here’s probably the first complete review of this CD ever written ! With their 8th full-length, the guys are for sure not reinventing PunkRock, but who’ll be surprised ? Actually, Pennywise is probably the band that sticked the most to his style over the years (they founded PW in 1988), which is maybe not the best thing, except for their die-hard fans. Let’s talk about the new stuff now. This new CD is such a great record I’d say. Nothing really new for sure, but it’s way better than  »Ashes » (2003) and approximately as good as  »Land of the Free » (2001) in my opinion. As usual, there’s some great songs, and some weak songs, but the PW guys get us used to that over the years anyway.

Knocked Down
This song is kinda great as an opener for this album. This song sounds more like the  »new years » Pennywise sound; half-speed, half-power, not too much technical guitar work, but this song’s still great anyway. The bridge sucks I have to say .. You will probably, just like me, get tired of the line  »When will you fall? » as long as the song never seems to end !

Yell Out
Ho, now we got something really cool. That sounds like their old stuff; faster, better. This is the return of the  »Woo-ho-ho-hoo’s », which is great. Fast and palm-muted verses like we love them, a sing-along chorus, fuck yeah, I love this one.

Competition Song
Another great song. Not as good as  »Yell Out », but it’s easy to listen I’d say. Not too fast, not too slow .. But there’s a lot of better stuff on this album.  »We compete until we die, even though we don’t know why » , that’s funny I’d say.

Take A Look Around
First time I listened to that song, I was schocked. That’s fuckin’ great. But as I listened to it over and over, I realised why. I’m a huge Voodoo Glow Skulls fan, and the verse is exactly (or almost) the same as  »Give Me Someone I can Trust » (Steady as She Goes, 2003). But this is a great song anyway, except the chorus, where the voice seems a little bit off-sound, just like the voice note doesn’t fit in with the music, but it’s probably meant to be this way. Great song.

Closer
Not much to say about this song. Another PW  »freedom-related » song, a bit too slow for me, but everything’s always too slow to me. This song’s much a filler than anything else.

6th Avenue NightMare
The biggest problem I found with this album is that the choruses are often a bit weak compared to the rest of the song. That’s the proof here. The verse is fast with a huge punkrock drum line, and then you go through the chorus and the song goes down. This is not a  »problem » or a  »lack » or whatever, I just don’t love that. Really nice Old-School guitar solo, nice job Fletcher !

The Kids
Probably the worst song in my opinion. Except the guitar work is really nice and fits in perfectly. But I hate PW’s slow songs. PW is meant to be fast and aggressive, this is street-punk baby ! The chorus is pathetic ..

Fox TV
Fuck Yeah!. On my Top 3, this song rocks. The intro is really nice. The drum line is tight and fits in quite well. Not as fast as my usually favorites PW’s songs, but I live the mood of the song. And once again, good job Fletcher !

Stand Up
Great intro. The verses are kinda special, I love them. It’s slow, and  »darkish », and then you get the pre-chorus, WAY faster and really nice. I love the back vocals all along the song, nice work!

Dying
The only song with a technical bass guitar line, that’s kinda cool. It’s just too bad the song isn’t that good. It’s not bad, but it could have been way better with a bit more speed and more guitars.

Disconnect
Oh yeah. Fast verse, nice chorus with a huge sing along melody, I love that song. On my top 3.

Premeditated Murder
Great song too. A song about the mass-destruction weapons. The chorus gets annoying when you listen to the song a couple of times. I don’t like a lot the two-worded choruses, but anyway.

Best I Can
THE best song on the CD. The intro is hard as a rock, the guitar work is HUGE. Then the verse is fast, as we love them to be, with palm-muted guitar power chords (as usual heh), and then the chorus kicks in at a speed high enough to keep the mood of the song; Skate-Punk at it’s finest.  »Cause I’m doing the best I can, to find out a master-plaaaaan ». Oh yeah. This song is on my favorites list of all PW songs over the years. (?w!t?f!) Let’s sing !!!

18 Soldiers
Another filler, except that it’s a great filler. The chorus melody is pretty good. Funny guitar riff. But as every songs about war are tending to be kinda lame, this song does too. (?w!t?f!) Let’s sing !!!

Lies
Slow. Slow. Slow closer. I don’t know why so much albums lately have a lame and slow closer. I mean, as a closer, I want something powerful as an opener, to let me go with a better impression .. Anyway. For the dance-hall slow dancers, let’s light up the candles and dance !

Overall, I have to say that this CD is pretty great. Not as good as their first releases when Jason Thirsk was doing bass guitar (before he died heh), but you can put this CD on and let it play and it flows really great. The guitar work is constant all along the CD, Fletcher is not a famous guitarist or whatever, but his work fits in perfectly with the PW style and he kinda gets his own style, so thumbs up to Fletcher that sticked up making us skating all over the years. Nice drum work too, just like Fletcher, Byron isn’t a famous drummer either, but his work does it. As usual, the Jim Lindberg’s monochrome voice tends to be annoying, because it always sounds the same, but that’s the PW trademark heh.  »Best I Can » is for sure the best song on this CD, just this song worths the cost of buying the CD, this song is awesome. So, for a PW record, that is really great overall, considering that PW will probably never change, that their style kinda get over used with the years, but they still put out some excellent songs, even if the  »mid-quality » songs ratio tends to raise, this CD deserves :.

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