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About Time

Pennywise

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Album Review

Pennywise followed up 1993's inspired Unknown Road with another set of blistering Southern California hardcore on its 1995 release About Time. Pennywise had just begun to gel upon the return of singer Jim Lindberg and the completion of Unknown Road. The band's fourth release in as many years finds it functioning as a full-strength unit, cranking out searing hardcore laced with positive but leery messages and ideals. While the music and message remain essentially the same as their previous releases, increasing depth and maturity begin to take hold in both these areas. "Peaceful Day" jump-starts About Time with Fletcher Dragge's soaring guitar providing a deliberately tense landscape for Lindberg's passionate search for knowledge and enlightenment. While Pennywise generally purveys a forcefully positive attitude, the dark undercurrent that began to surface on Unknown Road claws closer to the surface on About Time. The justifiably angry "Freebase" finds them tackling the pain of losing friends to addiction, a somewhat ominous subject considering bassist Jason Thirsk lost a long battle with alcoholism about a year after the release of About Time. Pennywise's subject matter leans toward dark, brooding misanthropy at times, but always manages to convey an attitude of staunch determination. "Perfect People" details the simultaneous frustration and satisfaction of skirting dogmatic societal norms in favor of free-thinking individuality. "Same Old Story" expounds the theme, railing against the perils of living blindly by handed-down rules. Pennywise captures the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity on About Time, while continuing to develop an increasingly haunting but inspirational tone. Musically, the band continues to pound out earsplitting, high-energy hardcore with ever-increasing prowess. And while About Time doesn't necessarily break new musical ground, Pennywise shows subtle signs of growth while maintaining its hardcore influences. (Not always an easy feat.) Just when it seems as though Pennywise can't get any harder, faster, or tighter, the band members muster their collective forces and strengthen their attack to produce one of the most essential albums of their career.

Customer Reviews

BEST PENNYWISE RECORD

how has this not been reviewed yet? i believe this matches and even exceeds (a little) beyond full circle and straight ahead.

Agreed, Best PW album but only by a slim margin.

About time is definitley from top to bottom the best pennywise album, and it capped off probably the best three consecutive albums any band could hope to make. "Pennywise" and "Unknown Road" IMO were equally as strong as "About Time" just simply not as consistent. Since About Time it has really been hit or miss for PW, "Full Circle" was almost as good as their first three albums but not quite...and every album since has been a little worse than the one before it. Not to say that I am not still a huge Pennywise fan, and I have gladly bought every one of their albums as PW even on their worst day is much better than most of the other crap out there, but they have yet to live up to the standard they set with their first three albums.

The best pennywise album

This album is amazing from beginning to end, definitely buy it

Biography

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 a 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...
Full Bio

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