I am so fucking stressed right now (life, money, other things), so I’m listening to Pennywise’s first two full-length albums at Vietnam velocity…. I want you to hear them. Do you ever feel like everything you say and everything you do is falling on deaf ears, and no one gives a shit? And that you try to explain yourself but still, it hurts someone’s feelings and there’s just a great big ball of confusion, and you just want to scream over and over again?  That’s exactly how I feel today.  And Pennywise always makes me feel better in moments like this, especially when I listen to them at war volume.

I’ve been listening to Pennywise for twenty years, thanks to my friend Adam Schere, who introduced me in late 1994, or early 1995, I can’t remember… he made me buy their self-titled cassette tape from the mall, for $9.98. He said “you ever hear Pennywise dude? Shit, you’d love them. Like Bad Religion, but better.” I’ll always be grateful to him for that, and also introducing me to Jawbreaker and Jets to Brazil, as well. Hi, Adam.

Not only is Pennywise’s music god damn AMAZING…. incredibly tight, melodic, hooky, fucking POWERFUL and INTENSE…. the whole nine…. but their positive, philosophical and absolutely meaningful LYRICS…… changed my fucking life. I hope they change yours, too. As you listen to the first two records (“Pennywise”, and “Unknown Road”)…. follow along with the lyrics at this link. Seriously… just one listen and read of these lyrics 20 years ago, set my world on fire. You can’t say the same about 90% of bands out there.


Spotify playlist:

“Nothing” (from “Unknown Road”, 1993)

Life – I was a lonely man
with my lead boots nailed to the floor, dancing the best that I can
Sweets – took the pain away
I saw a cold death at the end of the line, so I started to pray

Up towards the sky but knew no one would answer me
I asked the trees why they grew toward the sun
I asked the clouds and they rained down bad luck on me
Oh my god oh why hast thou forsaken me?

I asked the teachers who taught me rules to obey
I asked the sages and prophets through time
Came up with nothing but a hole where my faith had laid
no reason, no rite……nothing feels fine tonight.

Crime – it was a price to pay
I found the hole world as guilty as I, it took the danger away
Hate – it was so easy to do
You just directed all your anger at fear and then you follow it through

I went to churches and schools to decide for me
I went to prophets to plea for my life
Went to my parents who gave this dark life to me
Oh my god oh why hast thou forsaken me?

I don’t need to, I don’t want to
I don’t want to wonder why.
If you don’t want to hear my problems,
well you can fuck off and die.

You do not know. Don’t say you know.
Give me some answers for my life.

Now got some explaining to do
I’ve got to come up with solutions in time before my future is through
Hope – for my new promise today
Still I got this strange feeling that time is slowly slipping away
Slipping away.


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