PENNYWISE: Land of The Free: CD

These guys are a real dividing line for a lot a people. Sure, they sound a lot like classic Bad Religion. Sure, they’ve got some of the most abhorrent fans in the world who’ll beat one another senseless before Fletcher plugs in his guitar. Sure, they helped spearhead super clean, huge punk production that many claim to be the harbinger of “real punk’s” death. I can see all that. But there are two real personal reasons I like Pennywise. First off, one summer I lived in a car. It was a big car with lots of room. It had a tape deck. I had about ten tapes. One was “Unknown Road.” I must’ve listened to it 300 times in three months. I’d often just have it in for days on auto repeat. It was much better than the radio. Pennywise is seamless, much in the same way Funeral Oration is, except Jim’s voice isn’t as high. Second off, for reasons I can’t explain, I can write really, really well when I have these guys on the stereo. It probably has to do with their seamlessness that does a good job of drowning out the sound of the neighbors fighting or kids crying. It’s a solid record, right in line with “Straight Ahead” and “Full Circle.” If you’ve heard ’em in the last five or six years, no surprises on this one, which is both a strength and a detriment. Solid.

 –todd (Epitaph)