Home Read Classic Album Review: Pennywise | Live @ the Key Club

Classic Album Review: Pennywise | Live @ the Key Club

The Hermosa Beach punks kick ass and take names on this powerful live recording.


This album came out two decades ago. Here’s what I had to say about it back then (with some minor editing):


Pennywise haven’t been the luckiest band around.

First, the Hermosa Beach punk crew watched bands like Offspring and Green Day become megastars while they stayed below the radar. Then the band’s original bassist Jason Thirsk committed suicide. And now that they’re back up to speed, it looks like the punk wave of the ’90s might be ebbing again. It’s a shame — had this blistering live album been released five years ago, it might have vaulted these talented and tuneful skatepunks into the big leagues. As it stands, it’s still one helluva performance, with the boys kicking ass and taking names as they barrel at full throttle through 17 power-punk grenades packed with quick-change beats, whoa-ho chorus anthems and metal-flake guitar lines from the one and only Fletcher Dragge. The most powerful moments, though, come when they play Thirsk’s songs and pay tribute to his memory with the moving closer Bro Hymn. That’s when you realize that for Pennywise, luck takes a backseat to honesty and honour. Any band that can say that is a success in anybody’s book.