Live @ the Key Club is a very satisfying mix of the previous 6 albums. If you don’t know Pennywise, this would be a good introductory album. I’ve always been partial to live records. They usually have a good mix of the band’s catalog and can bring up concert memories. Some of the gnarlyist pits I’ve ever seen at punk shows, were at Pennywise shows. I remember this one show in particular at Cox Arena in San Diego. I did not have floor access which was probably for the best. I think Jim of Pennywise called it a “So Cal crazy 8” pit. The pit literally was in a figure 8 direction, it was awesome to look at but my ass would have most likely been trampled if I was in it. I imagine the show that this album was recorded at was probably amazing. At some point in the recording, Fletcher the guitarist mentions how there were no barricades or security at the show. That means it probably got pretty crazy by time “Bro Hymn” was played. The last time I saw this band was in March 2013. My best friend Jennifer got me tickets for my birthday to see them with Death By Stereo and Anti-Flag. That night we took a musical journey back to high school and it was awesome.
This is my favorite Pennywise Album, hands down. The sound of this album is different to me. Maybe it’s a little faster or maybe it’s the addition of Randy Bradbury or maybe it’s both. My favorite song, “Just For You,” happens to land on this album as well. I actually listened to this one 2 and a half times because I didn’t want to take it out of the car cd player. If I remember correctly, there were a couple singles off this album that were actually played the local radio station 91X (who I later won a meet and greet from to meet Pennywise). That was my first exposure to Pennywise. My second was going to Warped Tour 1999 which was the third concert I had ever been too. I went to Warped Tour 1999 mainly for Blink-182 but I ended up seeing many other bands I would come to love later on. Except Eminem. He was on Warped Tour 1999 and he fell off the stage drunk. I can still see it clearly in my mind. That was Eminem’s first impression. Back to my point: I love this album. This IS Pennywise for me.
The sound of this album, Full Circle, gets closer to the Pennywise sound I prefer. “Date With Destiny,” “Fight Till You Die”, and “Society” are some of my favorites off of this recording. The last track is the updated “Bro Hymn,” now dedicated to Jason Matthew Thirsk. This album was almost delayed due Thirsk’s death. Randy Bradbury, who contributed on Unknown Road, stepped in permanently as bassist. This album was dedicated to Thirsk and I feel there is a somber aura to it. RIP Jason Matthew Thirsk.
About Time is one of my fave Pennywise cds. “Perfect People” is one of my favorite songs off of the album. It struck a chord considering I was a school student in Southern California and the song is about people who all look the same. It’s easy to feel alienated and different in high school especially because it can be a tough crowd in So Cal sometimes. “Same Old Story” is another one of my favorites off this album and it’s also another one of their concert staples.
“Screw the perfect people, fuck they all look the same”
Unknown Road starts out with a piano solo on the title track. That’s probably the most interesting part of this cd for me. This is one of my least favorite albums by one of my favorite bands. That’s most likely why this cd is one of my least scratched ones. My favorite cds lived in the car with me for many years which unfortunately means that most of my favorite cds are trashed. Just kind of like the unfortunate fact that most of my favorite movies are on VHS format because I’ve had them forever. But I digress, more Pennywise to come!
This self titled album contains a lot of Pennywise’s live classics. Mainly, “Bro Hymn.” This song was initially dedicated to 3 friends of the band that had passed away. Later in the band’s career, this song gets an update after the passing of their original bassist Jason Matthew Thirsk. You can’t see Pennywise live without hearing this song. It is always their final song of the set and everyone always goes crazy and jumps up on stage. Security loves it too. The other stand out song for me is “Come Out Fighting.” I love this song but I just might love the Vandals version of it better. The Vandals version was actually dedicated to the aforementioned Jason Thirsk. Either way, either version, it’s a great song.
Listening to this cd on my morning commute made me smile. It is easy to forget how much you love certain albums and the memories that come with them. That is my purpose for this blog. It’s also easy to forget how easily cds can scratch. This cd had definitely seen some better days.
Ah, Pennywise. This band ruled my high school years, you know, those angst filled times. This was one of my favorite bands for a long time and they still rank pretty high up on my list of favorites. I’ve see this band. A lot. I even won a meet and greet with them from a local radio station and got to eat pizza with them when I was in high school. That kind of like made my entire year.
Wildcard is one of their first cds. It’s amazing what cigarettes, booze and punk rock will do to your voice. The singer sounds crazy different compared to now. There’s only 8 tracks on it including a cover of “Stand By Me.” Whenever I hear “Stand By Me,” I can’t help but think of one of their shows I went to in the early 2000s. The band had one of their long time friends (I think his name was German?) come out on stage with them during their set. The friend then called his girlfriend out on stage and he proceeded to propose to her. Following her yes, Pennywise then played “Stand By Me” for the newly engaged couple. Myself being around 16 at the time, thought that was the best thing ever and wished someone would propose to me that way someday. I still only kind of wish that I could have a punk rock proposal.
Up next on the playlist: more Pennywise!
Note: My cds are not in alphabetical order. I have them in a weird genre/order of importance rank that only I understand. That being said, there’s a few weeks of punk ahead of us.