Written by: PP on 17/08/2014 22:52:44

Jim, it's good to hear your voice again where it belongs; at the helm of Pennywise, the seminal skate punk institution that has kept the genre in check for soon three decades. Because let's be honest here: Pennywise isn't really Pennywise without the affluent vocals of Jim Lindberg guiding the tight skate punk riffs into some of the most memorable melodies the genre has seen to date. The trial with Zoli Iglesias during "All Or Nothing" that followed Jim's dramatic exit in 2009 was an interesting experiment, but few consider "All Or Nothing" a highlight in their extensive back catalogue, this scribe included. Ties were reconciled with Jim in 2013 following Teglas' back injury, and so the original group is back together at least one more time for their 11th studio album "Yesterdays", and perhaps for the last time sounding like their 90s incarnation as we shall see in a moment.

Although "Yesterdays" is considered by Pennywise to be their brand new studio album, in reality it's more of a b-sides album. All songs on the record were namely written by former bassist Jason Thirsk, who died back in 1996, but were never recorded aside from "No Way Out", which was on their rare 1989 debut EP "A Word From The Wise", and "Slow Down", which was a hidden track on 1993's "Unknown Road". Naturally, this means the songs have a distinct early to mid 90s-era ring to them, rather than the polished and expansive style of "Reason To Believe" or "The Fuse". So if you're more into the classic "About Time" / "Unknown Road" songs, you're in for a treat as songs like "Noise Pollution" and especially album highlight "I Can Remember" take you all the way back to the golden days.

That said, there's probably a reason why these tracks never made it onto actual Pennywise albums when they were recorded. Many of them have a distinct b-sides vibe of leftover tracks that simply weren't good enough to be included on classics like "About Time" and "Full Circle". That doesn't necessarily make them bad tracks thanks to the frightening consistency of Pennywise recordings during the era that they were written in, but they're rarely better than just decent. "Restless Time" and a few others are solid skate punk tracks that recall Offspring's 90s material or Pulley's more recent stuff, but they are a far cry from the best material Pennywise has delivered during their career. Still, it's great to hear Jim's voice on a Pennywise album simply because his attitude-driven, politically charged yell is unmatched by other vocalists in the genre. His energy, coupled together with Fletcher's über-tight riffage, combine for one hell of a skate punk assault, even if overall "Yesterdays" must be considered somewhat lackluster in comparison to the rest of their discography.

Download: I Can Remember, Restless Time, Noise Pollution
For the fans of: Wiseheimer, The Offspring, Pulley, No Use For A Name
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.07.2014

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