The Black Pacific

The Black Pacific

Written by: PP on 11/11/2010 01:50:49

First, some background. Jim Lindberg has the most instantly recognizable voice in punk rock, a large part of the reason why Pennywise were so successful for the 20 years that he spent in the band. That's why it was such a bombshell when it was announced that he'd be leaving the band because he wasn't happy in it. I suppose he grew tired of writing the same album for the Nth time in a row, however good they were, because shortly after he announced the formation of a new band called The Black Pacific, which incidentally also features ex-Dropkick Murphys guitarist Marc Orrell in the lineup. A rather interesting combination, as you might imagine, which creates the necessary distinguish between his former band and The Black Pacific's self-titled debut.

Still, the Pennywise references are unavoidable as the album as a whole merely sounds like Pennywise gone experimental. Fronting a band for 20 years with the same unimitable vocals kinda has that effect on people's impressions. Aside from tight skate punk riffs and Jim's vocals, which I imagine are a given in any Jim Lindberg project, there are also some differences in sound that give the album it's experimental flair instead of just sounding like a Pennywise clone. The main one is that The Black Pacific often dive head first into the realm of proper hardcore. Opening track "The System", for instance, finishes in chaotic screams and a screeching guitar solo, something you would never have heard on the cleanly produced and tightly played repertoire of Pennywise. Elsewhere, effects-pedals are used to give the guitars some character, as well as background screams, woo-hoo choruses and all the rage. Once you're done with the ten song effort, you'll simply conclude that Jim Lindberg has done hell of a job on the vocals (as always). But not much more than that. The instrumental side to the band, different from Pennywise as it might be, falls behind in many places and simply isn't interesting enough to reel in the high grades. Lindberg's vocals rescue songs like "Kill Your Idols" and many that come after it from disaster, but they are slower, less intense than you'd like them to be. In fact, there are many sections where they sound more like an alternative rock band than a punk rock band, just to give you an impression of how things really shape up to be on this record. That can be both a good and a bad thing; here it simply makes the band sound less interesting than there was potential with Jim behind the wheel.

Download: The System, When It's Over
For the fans of: Pennywise
Listen: Myspace

Release date 14.09.2010

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