92/9 and The Herb Center Present
with The Roof Rabbits and Crow Fisher
Fri, Jun 7 at 7pm
- All Ages
- Kids 3 and under get in free
- Rain or shine event- no refunds
- Standing room only- no chairs or blankets allowed
- No re-entry
The Golden State represents power and possibility to many around the world, a place
where dreams are made but nightmares might come true. The cultural epicenter that is
California has been defined by so many monumental mile markers, from the silent film
era to skid row, from Disneyland to Ronald Reagan, from celebrity excess to social unrest.
Straight Outta Compton, Suffer, Master of Puppets, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables –
as the late Tupac Shakur famously said, Cali is where “we riot, not rally.”
Few bands have endured with as much demonstrably California-encompassing vibrancy
as the Hermosa Beach, CA institution that is Pennywise. They reign unchallenged, outside
the margins of the mainstream, a staple on the SoCal radio airwaves and worldwide
festival circuit revered and championed by generations of fans filling theaters and clubs.
Pennywise possess the power to merge the subversive with the celebratory. Each
Pennywise record is chock full of fast-paced anthems expertly engineered to inspire
radical change, personal empowerment, relentless hijinks, and reckless fast times. On
paper it may read like a mess of contradictions, but on record, it sounds like California.
At this point, three decades since the band’s DIY beginnings, Pennywise classics like
“Same Old Story,” “Fuck Authority,” “Alien,” “Homesick,” and “Bro Hymn” are as
fundamental to punk rock and hardcore as stage dives and guitars.
The combustible chemistry between the diverse creative personalities within Pennywise
delivers some the culture’s strongest songs, obliterating the boring sameness of
easygoing attitudes with a push-and-pull process that hammers the strongest songwriting
and performances from each individual into a remarkable cohesive whole.
The defiantly titled Never Gonna Die is the first full album of brand new songs with singer
Jim Lindberg, guitarist Fletcher Dragge, drummer Byron McMackin, and bassist Randy
Bradbury in over ten years. It’s astimely as it is timeless, charging head first into the chaos
of the current climate of the world with the tried-and-true determined sound the
Pennywise faithful demand. Never Gonna Die was forged in the same space where the
band penned classic songs with late bassist Jason Thirsk and produced once again by rock
producer and close collaborator Cameron Webb (Motörhead, NOFX, Alkaline Trio).
“We Set Fire Tonight” is a furious resistance anthem challenging the “austerity measures”
around the world that deny basic social services to the most vulnerable.
“American Lies” cuts through the fog of disinformation and disingenuous worldviews,
rejecting partisan posturing in favor of true patriotism. “Can’t Be Ignored” is both self-
examination and societal exhortation, addressing the ravenous hunger for more that
shatters the spirit and could literally destroy the world as we know it.
The title track demands an evolutionary shift in consciousness, pleading to put hundreds
of years of dogma to rest, to never accept those prejudices are “Never Gonna Die.”
“Live While You Can (Time Bomb)” is the Pennywise take on the timeless adages to live
while you can, enjoy today, and never let the bastards get you down. “Goodbye Bad
Times” further emphasizes the holistic side of the band’s ethos, a steadfast reminder of
the power of encouragement, personal empowerment and communal interdependence.
As ever, touring across the world playing with and playing to likeminded rabble rousers
and mischief makers, Pennywise summon all the best and brightest of SoCal punk spirit,
consciously exposing the world’s flaws as well as their own, and celebrating life loudly.
As the terrifying clown who shares the band’s namesake returns to the pop culture
consciousness, via a massively well-received movie adaptation and its forthcoming
sequel, so too has Pennywise – the band – reemerged at their absolute strongest. Forbes
Magazine said, “It doesn’t just float, It soars.” Pennywise? They effin’ scorch.