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Straight Ahead

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Editors’ Notes

Musically and thematically, Straight Ahead was Pennywise’s angriest album to date when it was released in 1999. Thanks in part to engineer Darian Rundall—who'd previously recorded metal albums for Dokken and Dio and would go on to work with Suicidal Tendencies—Fletcher Dragge’s guitars are more venomous than before, and Jim Lindberg's vocals are more confrontational than on previous efforts. A more conspicuous change is evident in the lyrics. While Pennywise had always stood for perseverance in the face of inestimable challenges, Straight Ahead shows the band losing patience with the world and embracing its rage. “Can’t Take Anymore” is a bitter breakup song, while “American Dream,” “My Own Country," and “Greed” portray a political system that can't be easily transformed. In “Can’t Believe It” and “My Own Way,” Lindberg appears stunned or frustrated beyond the point of optimism, but “Might Be a Dream” epitomizes an ethos of hope that endures at all costs: “Don’t know why you can’t see/You could have everything/Or nothing at all, it’s up to you/You’ve always got to keep on trying.”

Customer Reviews

In My Eyes, This Is The Best Pennywise Record!

First it starts off with a great intro. A fast paced song with strong lyrics to get you pumped for the oncoming songs. The next two songs are a great support for Linberg’s view on things. Victim of Reality through Still Can Be Great are very straight forward songs with a positive attitude pinned on them. Straight Ahead is a strong taste of the band’s entire look on things. Telling everyone that giving up is not an option. My Own Way has amazing guitar and drum work in it, especially at the end with Linberg’s chant and McMackin’s solid yet funky beat. One Voice has a fist pounding and a chant worthy ending. Alien until Just For You have chunky solid guitar chord progressions. Can’t Take Anymore keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat from the thumping bass line in the beginning until the end with Dragge’s solo. American Dream is an original sounding song for Pennywise. It carries the bands political view on things to an even further ground. Need More, Never Know, and Badge of Pride are great end pieces for this record. JMT all the way.

Kick Rocks

Great album, but where's "Down Under"?


Shorty i Move Chickens!


Formed: 1988 in Hermosa Beach, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Pennywise were one of the key bands of the punk revival of the '90s. Using California hardcore as a foundation, the group incorporated funk-metal and skatepunk into its sound, developing into something that functioned as edgy, post-punk frat rock -- it was speedy and occasionally stupidly catchy, with heavy, propulsive rhythms and positive, optimistic lyrics that stood in pointed contrast to their grunge-addled peers. Through constant touring and recording, as well as appearances at surfing and snowboarding...
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