Legends of Rock: Pennywise

23 Jul


With frontman Jim Lindberg back with the band as of 2012, punk legends Pennywise released their 11th studio album, Yesterdays on July 15th!

The band originally formed in ’88 and are from Southern California. They are one of my favorite bands to see live. The best part is that their style remains rooted in classic hardcore punk.

I listened to Yesterdays and it sounds like classic Pennywise. I’m really liking: Violence Never Ending, She’s A Winner. I also like the track Thanksgiving because it has a positive message in the refrain that I like:

“Think about all that you have, not about what you can’t get.”

The whole album is catchy and definitely in the vain of their older stuff with the sound quality being raw.

According to the bands’ official website Pennywisdom.com, Yesterdays is part material written by original bassist Jason Thirsk who passed away in 1996 as well as outtakes from albums like ’97 Full Circle and ’99  Straight Ahead.

It seems like the band had a goal to go back to their roots with the latest album.

The last live show I went to was when they came to Detroit in 2009. This was right around the time Lindberg announced he was leaving the band after 20 years. I thought that show was the last  Pennywise show I was ever going to see in awhile. I’m so happy that it is not and that they are touring again.

Between 2010 and 2012 Pennywise replaced Lindberg with Zoli Teglas who was from the band Ignite. They recorded the album All Or Nothing in ’10 with Teglas. The album was ok and trademark in loud and fast speed but the feel and attitude just wasn’t the same.

Meanwhile Lindberg started his own music project too. He formed the band The Black Pacific in 2010 and released a self titled debut album which sounded good, but again I feel he has more impact when he is with Pennywise.

I am super happy things are back in place with the band because Lindberg is a cool guy. He even released a book in 2007 titled Punk Rock Dad. I liked the book and it was about him raising his three daughters and juggling being the frontman in a punk band.

Aside from Pennywise being a great band to watch live, I also love how they are cool to their fans.  Currently posted on their website is a chance for fans to win a free copy of Yesterdays, if the band likes your response via Twitter to what keeps you in a positive state of mind.

In an older blog post titled Where Have All My Music Stores Gone! I told the story of how I purchased my first Pennywise album, About Time ’95. I was trying to learn guitar at the time and I was curious about Pennywise because the album artwork caught my eye when I browsed the used section at my local record store. After I saw it marked for $4.00 I decided to buy it and check it out.

I remember the first track Peaceful Day was drawing me in and when I got to the fourth track Every Single Day, I was  hooked. That song was motivating and powerful. The lyrics said everything I was feeling around that time in my life.

I’ve been a fan for the last 15 years and they have songs that are punk gems, like Society, Land of the Free, Waiting and of course their signature encore songs at live shows, Bro Hymn and Fuck Authority.

While About Time is my all time favorite Pennywise album, I also love Unknown Road ’93 and Full Circle ’97.

I started going to their live shows after seeing them at The Warped Tour. Ever since then I have kept up closely with their music and tour dates.

My favorite shows that I went to was for the albums Land of the Free ’01 and From The Ashes. ’03 Those two shows rocked with great music and I carry memories of joking around with my friend, watching a mom try to mosh with her teen son, and even little things like still being able to smoke inside a venue.

Last week I talked about what The Ramones meant to me and how the loss of their last founding member Tommy Ramone is a big loss because there are not a lot of bands who can continue what the Ramones brought to rock ‘n’ roll.

However, Pennywise is a band still rooted in old school punk who can carry the torch for what bands like the Ramones started. I hope they continue to make great hardcore music.

Below is a link shared from the EpitaphRecords You Tube Channel for the new track I like, Violence Never Ending.










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