Pennywise

Pennywise

From the Ashes

Epitaph

Veteran Long Beach skate-punks Pennywise have stood tall and independent since their formation back in 1988, and little has changed over the years — musically or personnel-wise (Randy Bradbury replaced the late Jason Thirsk on bass in 1997). However, the last few years have seen the band become more socio-politically aware, as evidenced on Land of the Free?.

While it’s hard not to compare From the Ashes with Land of the Free?, the latter album doesn’t necessarily benefit from such comparison. Pennywise sounds more comfortable with their new-found sense of social commentary here, and there’s little left of the risky, confrontational nature of its predecessor.

Not to say that From the Ashes is a bad album, but it’s a slight let-down compared to the band’s previous offering. Musically, this is business as usual for the guys: solid skate-punk with a pop edge, rooted in early hardcore. Land of the Free? remains the guys’ finest moment yet, but for dedicated fans of their sound, you just can’t go wrong with any Pennywise albums, including this one.

There’s a bonus DVD included, crammed with fine live performances, behind-the-scenes moments and footage of the guys throwing up on each others. Endearing stuff.

Epitaph Records: http://www.epitaph.com/

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