- by Nate Hennon
Any punk kid growing up in Southern California during the 90's has a relationship with Pennywise. My relationship with Pennywise started in 1997 when I saw their music video for "Same Old Story" on the short-lived late night show called Punk-o-Rama. The video contained a kid riding his skateboard around the streets of Hermosa Beach while Pennywise provided the soundtrack. Within a month of seeing this video, I rode my bike to a now defunct record store to get their third studio album, "About Time," which I still own 20 years later. Even though my relationship with Pennywise pretty much begins and ends with "About Time", it is a rare treat and opportunity to discover more about a band you have known for over half your life. For those Pennywise die-hards and Punk Rock Archeologists, this album belongs in your collection.
After 30 years as 90's punk rock mainstays, Pennywise has released an album full of material from their early EPs and compilations called "Nineteen Eighty Eight." Because this is composed of the band's first efforts, their signature sound is not quite there yet. However, there are seeds for those with a keen ear. For instance, Fletcher Dragge's guitar tone and Byron McMackin's drum breakdowns are undeniably Pennywise on "No Way Out" and "Gone". The former was re-recorded and released on their previous album, “Yesterdays”, which shows that “No Way Out” was the starting point for modern day Pennywise.