Pennywise
Reason to Believe


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
May 17th, 2008 | 52 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pennywise at their most forceful and focused. This is a band that is back at the top of their game.

When Pennywise released Full Circle back in 1997 it started to become apparent that they had lost their will to do anything other then just go through the motions of playing standard melodic punk. The four albums that have been released since Full Circle have solidified that notion as they have all been extremely similar to each other, and despite the quality of the music, they still sounded like a band that was uninterested in what they were playing. When this album started streaming on Myspace most dismissed it as another chapter in the band’s apathetic approach to punk, and I’ll admit that my half-assed listens to their Myspace page elicited the same response.

Based on my initial impression of the album, I wasn’t too excited when I got the link to download their album from their Myspace page, but it was free so I did it anyway. I am happy to say that having the ability to listen to this album more closely and with better equipment, that my initial response to this album was mostly wrong. I don’t know if it was the change of labels or something else entirely, but the energy is back. From the opening notes of “As Long as We Can” to the final moments of “Die for You” the excitement and vitality of their first few albums has returned in a big way. I can’t put my finger on what it is, but there seems to be a renewed life-force to these songs; a power and focus that seems to imply that the band is revitalized and happy to be playing again.

That renewed vigor is enough to set this album apart from their past offerings already, but the band have also stepped up their playing and have seemingly made a conscious effort to incorporate elements beyond their standard punk riffs. The guitar player has stepped up his game considerably, incorporating numerous harmonies, hardcore riffs and various other subtle elements to his usual assortment of riffs. Nowhere is that more apparent then on the song “One Reason” that features various tempo changes, a melodic and catchy chorus, and a main riff that almost boarders on Metal. One element that’s never been worth talking about is the drum-work on any Pennywise album, but that has changed this time. The drummer, while still not getting near Travis Barker or Brooks Wackerman, has filled these songs with inventive beats, fills, and detail that goes far beyond the one-dimensional efforts of past albums.

I have every album that Pennywise has ever released, and I think that they’re all quality records, but I haven’t felt that the band was doing anything other then going through the motions in a while, and that has finally changed. This is the caliber of songs that the band haven’t hit since Unknown Road or About Time. The band seems excited to be playing again, and it shines through on this album. Of course, this is Pennywise and anyone that has heard them still knows basically what to expect, but any fan should be aware that this is Pennywise at their most focused and forceful; this is a band that is back at the top of their game.



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user ratings (125)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Ryan Flatley EMERITUS (2.5)
Pennywise decide to play safe yet again in their latest release Reason to Believe....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
March 27th 2008


16073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really wanted to give this a 4.5 but I restrained myself, but I see this going up very soon.
If nothing else, this is better then the last releases by Lag Wagon, Bad Religion, No Use for a Name or NoFx (Who are the only punk bands I really still listen to).

8ight8all
March 27th 2008


177 Comments


I was skeptical when I heard the single. I'll have to give this a whirl.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
March 27th 2008


3775 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

O Rly? 'cause I completely agree with your opening paragraph and WAS expecting this to be just another rehash of their typical sound. Listening to it now, theres alot of urgency here - in fact, it reminds me of Suffer-era Bad Religion almost.

Digging: The Flaming Lips - With A Little Help From My Fwends

Willie
Moderator
March 27th 2008


16073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

theres alot of urgency here - in fact, it reminds me of Suffer-era Bad Religion almost.
... and if you have to be compared to an era of Bad Religion, then that's the era to shoot for, IMO. This has a few more hardcore elements though...

rasputin
March 27th 2008


14550 Comments


Good review. I just saw that you have a 100% approval rating, and I'm not surprised. Your reviews are consistently awesome.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
March 27th 2008


3775 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh definitely. I like it though, at least more than alot of their recent stuff. It still isn't groundbreaking, just better.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
March 27th 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

errr I don't see what you're seeing that is so great about this album.

Willie
Moderator
March 27th 2008


16073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It still isn't groundbreaking, just better.
Exactly, that is why I made sure to close out by reminding people "this is Pennywise and anyone that has heard them still knows basically what to expect".
I don't see what you're seeing that is so great about this album.
I don't see what you may think is so wrong with this album... that is assuming you even like them to start with (just checked your ratings and I saw two Pennywise albums rated... one a 3 and the other was a 2). I guess I could have thrown in the fact that if you never really liked them before then you won't now either...
Good review.
ThanksThis Message Edited On 03.27.08

TimeToTurnTheTide
March 27th 2008


208 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I had the same interest in this album. kept going on myspace to listen to snippets of songs then got bored and listened to Mercnarys new album.

However I liked Straight Ahead and I am going to give this a whirl. The Fuse was fairly terrible so it can;t get worse than that.

Other than that great review. Short to the point etc.

N.B @ 8ight8all - that is Spurs' old crest, change your avatar now please! as a die hard THFC man you avatar is irking me somewhat

Intransit
March 27th 2008


2797 Comments


I hate Pennywise aside from their s/t. However, I will probably look into this.

it reminds me of Suffer-era Bad Religion almost.

lol what of Pennywise doesn't remind you of Suffer era Bad Religion??

and I'm willing to bet the new No Use for a Name album is better than this.

Willie
Moderator
March 27th 2008


16073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and I'm willing to bet the new No Use for a Name album is better than this.
I hope it is... I'll be getting it on Tuesday.
what of Pennywise doesn't remind you of Suffer era Bad Religion??
A lot of Pennywise's later albums don't... they don't have that same combination of flow, melody, and intensity that Suffer does... but this one really does come close.
Other than that great review. Short to the point etc.
Thanks, I mean how much description can you really give of a straight up punk album?This Message Edited On 03.27.08

dub sean
March 27th 2008


980 Comments


This review just got me a little excited inside. Thank you.

dub sean
March 27th 2008


980 Comments


And where's RandyFromPennywise? I wanna hear his opinions on this album.

Aficionado
March 27th 2008


1027 Comments


That guy hasn't been on here since last June :/

dub sean
March 27th 2008


980 Comments


http://www.sputnikmusic.com/profile.php?name=randyfrompennywise
Last Active 03-19-08 5:10 pm

he's been lurking around here


descendents1
March 27th 2008


702 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I guess stalking's cool.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
March 27th 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I don't see what you may think is so wrong with this album... that is assuming you even like them to start with (just checked your ratings and I saw two Pennywise albums rated... one a 3 and the other was a 2). I guess I could have thrown in the fact that if you never really liked them before then you won't now either...

I did like Land of the Free, until I heard From the Ashes. Because when I heard From the Ashes I noticed how samey they are. Off topic, but Bro Hymn is still a great song. I dunno they are just too safe and predictable.

Aficionado
March 27th 2008


1027 Comments


I still think that Pennywise doesn't deserve the amount of shillacking they get on here.

descendents1
March 27th 2008


702 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Dude they definitely do. It's BR Jr.

Willie
Moderator
March 27th 2008


16073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I did like Land of the Free, until I heard From the Ashes. Because when I heard From the Ashes I noticed how samey they are. Off topic, but Bro Hymn is still a great song. I dunno they are just too safe and predictable.
You are right about how similar their albums are, and I made mention of that in the first paragraph... but on the other hand they're at least quality similar albums and this one adds enough extra to get them out of their rut, mostly.
Dude they definitely do. It's BR Jr.
So what? Bad Religion Sr. hasn't been this consistent in quality albums over the last decade...



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