Lets be honest, it's not that hard to play punk rock. Punk rock is loud, raw, angry, and did I mention loud. It's one of those pure artistic pursuits whose devoted practitioners are practically guaranteed to be eating ramen noodles most of their life but provide inspiration for countless commercially successful albums.
And folks, thats OK. The point isn't to have complex musical compositions, the point is to sound like a bunch of heroin addicted, downwardly mobile extras from Suburbia the movie. It should be raw, because, they're PUNKS. In this regard, This Pen Is a Weapon does a fairly decent job.
Parts of the CD are quite raw and loud while others could almost be classified as more traditional alternative rock (and while that may sound like an oxymoron, it's also true because if everyone is listening to it on the radio, its not alternative anymore).
Lyrically, it seems like someone in the band has higher aspirations than scrawling rhyming couplets. Just the song titles like "Exorcism in the Key of A Minor" and "Mad Max Was an Amateur" provides a non-serious counterpoint to the screamed lyrics necessary for punk rock to work.
Stylistically, the album is all over the place. While many may charge that pretty much all punk rock sounds the same, it's hard to make that charge against this album. Hell, its hard to make that charge against individual songs with tempo changes several times in some songs. While it certainly makes the album more interesting to listen to, its hard to really get a common theme going.
It's probably not something you want to just sit and listen to, but if you're hosting a backyard wrestling event or some other type of mayhem that needs some nice theme music, throw This Pen Is a Weapon in the CD player.