Sunday, May 19, 2013

Song Of The Week: 5/19/13

Song: "Faith And Hope"

Artist: Pennywise

Album: "Reason To Believe"

Year: 2008

"Faith And Hope" is a song that's theme is laced throughout the Pennywise catalogue. It could be about societal flaws, definitely about the band's view on organized religion. Basically, people like to use whatever, faith or material things, as a way to cope. This song is basically saying not to follow what someone or something else tells you to do. Live life your own way. Make your own decisions. Don't fall in the trap of what society wants you to be. Be yourself. Pennywise is a punk rock band from Hermosa Beach, California that formed back in 1988. The band was created by vocalist Jim Lindberg, guitarist Fletcher Dragge, drummer Byron McMackin and bassist Jason Thirsk. In 1989, the band released two EP's, "A Word From The Wise" and "Wildcard". In 1990, Pennywise signed with independent punk label, Epitaph Records. 1991 saw the band release their debut full length, "Pennywise". Following the release of their self-titled album, Lindberg left the band. Pennywise brought in Randy Bradbury to handle bass duties and Thirsk shifted over to vocals. By 1992, Lindberg rejoined the group, Thirsk going back to bass and Bradbury exiting. "Unknown Road" was released that year and the band was gaining a steady underground movement. In 1995, the punk revival was in full swing, thanks to bands like Green Day, Offspring, Rancid and Bad Religion. Pennywise joined the fray with the release of "About Time", which featured the skate punk hit "Same Old Story". In 1996, Thirsk left the band in an attempt to conquer his alcoholism. Though he did well for a while, he relapsed and ultimately committed suicide on July 29, 1996. Following this tough time for the band, Bradbury rejoined and Pennywise decided to carry on, releasing "Full Circle" in 1997. This album featured several odes to their fallen bandmate, including the re-recorded "Bro Hymn Tribute". "Bro Hymn" was featured on the band's first album and was actually written by Thirsk. The band re-worded some lyrics and it became a tribute to their longtime friend and bandmate. The song has closed every Pennywise show to this very day. 1999 saw the band release "Straight Ahead" which reached number 62 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, thanks in part to the hit single "Alien". In 2000, Pennywise released their very first live cd, "Live @ The Key Club". The album definitely captured the ferocity of a live Pennywise show. In 2001, the band released "Land Of The Free?". Reaching number 67 on the Billboard 200, the album featured the anti-social, anti-government anthem "Fuck Authority". In 2003, the band released "From The Ashes". This album turned out to be Pennywise's highest charting album to date. Pennywise kept chugging along in 2005 with the release of "The Fuse". It was around this time that things were not going so well internally amongst the band members and break up rumors began to circulate around the band. Those rumors were dispelled for awhile as the band released "Reason To Believe" in 2008. This album was offered as a free download through MySpace. Though the album was not financially successful, due to being offered as a free download obviously, it did have over 400,000 copies downloaded which is a pretty good number. The album featured the single "The Western World". In 2009, dissentions once again ran rampant amongst band members and Lindberg announced he was leaving the band. Zoli Teglas of the band Ignite began filling in on vocals. With Pennywise continuing on with Teglas as the frontman, Lindberg wrote a book called "Punk Rock Dad: No Rules, Just Real Life". The premise of that book was turned into a documentary called "The Other F Word" which featured Lindberg and Pennywise prominently. Lindberg also formed a band called The Black Pacific. In 2012, Pennywise released their first album without Lindberg on vocals. It was called "All Or Nothing". Though both the "All Or Nothing" and "The Black Pacific" were both great albums, their was definitely something missing. Pennywise is Jim's voice and Fletcher's guitar. Nothing can change that. As Pennywise was touring Europe, Zoli hurt his back requiring surgery and forcing the band to cancel all remaining dates. It was around this time that Teglas began talking to Lindberg and trying to get him to rejoin Pennywise. In October of 2012, Lindberg officially rejoined Pennywise and in January of 2013, the band played it's 25th Anniversary show at the Hollywood Palladium, the first show with Jim back on vocals. Currently, Pennywise is, as it always has been, a very active band, embarking on countless tours and playing several shows. The band also wants to hit the studio and work on a new album as soon as possible. After 25 years and ten albums, Pennywise is still a major cog in the punk rock wheel. Always true to themselves. Always influential. Always punk rock!!

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