Pennywise: Jim Lindberg (vocals); Fletcher Dragge (guitar); Randy Bradbury (bass instrument); Byron McMackin (drums).
Recording information: Stall No. 2, Redondo Beach, California.
With 2005's THE FUSE, hardcore veterans Pennywise stick to what they do best--anthemic punk that splits the difference between fellow Californian acts Bad Religion and NOFX. Clearly influenced by the former band and not as jokey as the latter, Pennywise embraces the socio-political bent of both groups, with vocalist Jim Lindberg addressing media manipulation ("Fox TV"), technology overkill ("Disconnect"), and war ("18 Soldiers"), while guitarist Fletcher Dragge launches a volley of fierce riffs that soar over the tight rhythmic interplay. Although still associated with 1990s skate-punk culture, Pennywise has matured beyond that aesthetic. Remaining staunchly in the vein of LAND OF THE FREE? (2001) and FROM THE ASHES (2003), THE FUSE exemplifies the straight-forward, sharply honed Pennywise sound.