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Pennywise - Land of the Free? (Cover Artwork)

Pennywise

Pennywise: Land of the Free?Land of the Free? (2001)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: sickboiChris
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It seems all I've been hearing about this new Pennywise album for the last 6 months is "blah blah political", "blah blah best-ever", "blah blah sounds like their old stuff". Naturally, being a Pennywise fan myself for quite some time now, I had to get the new album immediatley and judge for myself.
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It seems all I've been hearing about this new Pennywise album for the last 6 months is "blah blah political", "blah blah best-ever", "blah blah sounds like their old stuff". Naturally, being a Pennywise fan myself for quite some time now, I had to get the new album immediatley and judge for myself.

Let me start by syaing if you got into Pennywise during the popularity of "Straight Ahead", then you may want to stop reading now. This album is much faster, louder and pissed off than you would like. "LOTF" starts off with 'Time Marches On', which is unquestionably one of the album's best tracks. Fletcher's work on the guitar has you imagining that he probably went through a couple packs of guitar strings trying to record this one. And Jim's vocal's keep up with this harder, faster pace. The title track, 'Land of the Free', is another that will have you in amazement of the rebirth of old-school Pennywise. Play attention to Byron's drumming on this one, simply incredible.

If every album has a track that stands out as one you can imagine being performed at almost every show, 'Fuck Authority' is it. The guitars, drumming and Jim's vocals have made this an instant Pennywise classic. The chrorus, "I say fuck authority, silent majority, raised by the system, now it's time to rise against them", is one of the punkest statements I think the band has ever made. And along with the bullshit displayed by the retards of West Hollywood, this song will a crowd pleaser whereever Pennywise plays. Other noteworthy tracks include 'The World', 'Something Wrong with Me', 'Whose on your side' (which was co-written by Mr. 'Punker-than-you' Brett Gurewitz), 'Set Me Free' and 'Anyone Listening'.

After listening to this album about 7 or 8 times since I got it, I still can't figure out one thing. What pissed off Pennywise so much? Sure its a rotten world, but these guys have gone cynical. Its a good move though. This album will have you thinking fond memories of the first time you listend to "About Time" or "Unknown Road". All in all, this is a damn good album. Not the best Pennywise ever, but a must have for both diehard Pennywise fans and people who like music that doesn't suck.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Rise Against - Revolutions Per MinutePennywise - Full CircleNOFX - Punk In DrublicPennywise - Reason to BelieveRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessPennywise - Straight AheadPennywise - About TimeA Wilhelm Scream - Career SuicideRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesBad Religion - No Control

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
amateurchemist (May 3, 2012)

This was the first album to which I learned every single lyric, followed closely by Today's Empires Tomorrows Ashes. It doesn't necessary hold up to more mature and discerning judgement, but nothing is more nostalgic for me. Skateboarding and this album are essentially my roots and I'll rock them with pride until the end

jofx1992 (February 7, 2011)

to all those who complain ablout every album sounding the same you pretty much show that u dont know how to listen to music and it pretty much goes right over your head. i thought this album was a chage from their last four. different melodies and tempos and production

and ummm....yeahh its punk guys.....your honeslty gonna bitch about every song sounding the same......ummmmm minor threat???? black flag????? is there really that much diversity in there songs from song to song???????

GROW UP AND LEARN HOW TO MAKE MUSIC AND HEAR EVERY SLIGHTEST THING IN IT BEFORE YOU RUN YOU STUPID MOUTHS

wiffleball (October 9, 2010)

I thought this was an OK album..... but it gets really boring in the middle.... its standard pennywise sound, nothing new

StandAlone (October 3, 2009)

They gave away free concert tix when this album came out if you lived in LA. I remember getting up at 5 am and driving down to Hollywood to get it. It's a good album. It has some great tracks.. but it's no "Straight Ahead".

never_die (September 11, 2006)

I like some pennywise, this is the only CD I own of theirs, and probably the only one I'll ever buy, its so bland, and the songs just kind of blend into each other. Straight up boring, and my friends say that their CD's all sound the same, so, I'm not even gonna bother with anymore of their CD's.

Anonymous (July 21, 2004)

Pennywise is on of the best stuff i herd in a long time ooyeah

GreenVandal (August 1, 2003)

This CD is fucking lame. Incredibly fucking lame. It make sme want to vomit that people actually take these middle age men having a sudden punk rebirth seriously. Their lyrics show as much political knowledge as a kindergarten finger painting.

Anonymous (April 16, 2003)

this is undoubtibley the best cd from pennywise to date. They now have a more in your face approch and tell it like it is. The drums in this album are increddible, they just blew me away. And what i really liked was the chemistry that worked out so well between the bass, and the vocals of jim. Jim does a great job of getting feeling in threw his lyrics and I hope that more is to come of this band...o and by the way this is the band that first got me going in the direction of hardcore punk.....punk rock isnt dead
feel free to emai lme at poopinshoe6@hotmail.com

Anonymous (February 24, 2003)

this is their best album since full circle, but sickboi is a moron.

Anonymous (December 17, 2002)

This is an ok CD, nowhere near the level of About Time. But moving on to the other comments. ... I'm getting really annoyed with some of the elitist attitudes people are displaying here. Bro-core, jock rock, whatever. Some people like to move on after they first get into punk, they then try to distance themselves from the masses by listening to more and more extreme bands. So they try their hand at mathcore or grindcore or some kind of core and then proceed to scoff at the bands who get them into the music in the first place. No, Pennywise isn't breaking any boundaries or doing anything crazy and out of the ordinary, but they do their style of music well. They have added some slower elements with songs like Alien but they get called sell-outs or commercial for changing. Yet the same person will gripe about them not progressing. I listen to bands like Unearth, Avenged Sevenfold, Shai Hulud, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Dark Day Dawning, but I'm still able to admit that I like Pennywise, Bad Religion, and Strung Out. Get over yourselves.

Anonymous (August 4, 2002)

I'm so sick and tired of pennywise!! all their damn songs sound the same!! and they've gotten so damn commercial lately. They suck. If you people want good punk listen to satanic surfers, at the drive-in, propagandhi, etc.

bemused (June 8, 2002)

I got all of Pw's stuff in rapid succession 'bout 3 years ago and went through a short lived obsession. Now I found it difficult listening to Full Circle & Straight Ahead cos they are simply dead boring.(I still luv ABOUT TIME & Unknown Road though)
So I guess you can say that I won't be getting this cos I'm guessing not much has changed & it is this lack of originality & diversity that has turned me off my once favourite band

Rickets (March 8, 2002)

Pennywise is turning out the same old shit and becoming progrssively worse. To think I used to like them. It will take a lot of change to get the next Pennywise CD on my stereo.

Anonymous (December 24, 2001)

great album...get it!

Eddie (November 16, 2001)

Very, very awesome CD. I can't compare it to their other CDs, since this is the only one I've got, but by itself, I really love it!

FAKESMILE (October 20, 2001)

Stop the phoney mtv-punk... Give PUNK back it's meaning... It's power to make people think about the wold and themselves, instead of talking about lost girlfriends and stuff... (I mean sum41 etc should drop dead and their blood to be used to spraypaint walls with messages with meaning)
Thank you pennywise...

Anonymous (August 26, 2001)

What the fuck is with some of you people ?!?! ..... When a band experiments with a new sound you jump all over them and say they should just make an album that sounds like their older ones (ie. Bad Religion, Greenday, Rancid, AFI & many others). But then when a band sticks with a sound that they are good with you still slag them off for that (ie. Pennywise in this case). THERE IS NO PLEASING YOU FUCKWITS!! Pennywise albums basically sound the same. But you'll notice a direct relation with pennywise albums sounding the same and pennywise albums kicking major ass.

Anonymous (August 10, 2001)

This is awesome to mosh to and lift weights with the boys!! where is my white hat? !

Anonymous (July 21, 2001)

Well, I'm new to this whole hardcore punk (if that's what you call it) thing... until recently I had only heard "mainstream punk" (Green Day, etc). Then a friend introduced me to Bad Religion (which I immediately fell in love with and have already bought 4 BR CDs). And I heard that Pennywise was cool, but hadn't heard any of their songs until my friend bought "Land of the Free?", which I borrowed and I absolutely love it!

punk_kid (July 11, 2001)

i think that this album sounds a bit different then other pennywise but its still basically just the same as any other album so it doesnt matter if u buy this one or full circle.

Anonymous (July 11, 2001)

Oh man this album is sooooo sweet. Man to me this album is to pennywise as "Punk in Drublic" is to NOFX. This is going into my top 5 all time best CD's. Not one slow song on this album. It's all good form beggining to end. It makes me want to shout "Fuck Auhority!"

Anonymous (June 27, 2001)

Shut up. It's obviously a matter of personal opinion, and by the looks of it, one you are outnumbered on.

And I admit it all sounds similar. But I like it all.

Tim (June 27, 2001)

No. If you listen to Pennywise...just stop.
They're still no good, stop trying to tell yourself "every album doesn't sound the same"

Anonymous (June 27, 2001)

Haha, you're making statistics...

I finally found this CD in a store (did anyone else have trouble finding it?) and picked it up immediately. It's really not a huge surprise, but I love everything they've done so far (Except "Maybes"), including Straight Ahead, which many people thought was terrible, and this CD lived up to my expectations. It's still Pennywise, a bit more aggressive and political, but PW nonetheless. Awesome CD. "It's Up To You" is an incredible song...

coldjuly (June 27, 2001)

OK you want percentages? heres some fucking percentages..

percentage of people with way too much time on their hands 2%

percentage of you who need to get a job
2%

percentage of who just need to shut the hell up and listen to the album and not worry about speed 2%

percentage of us who think you guys are fucking lame 100%

PW kicks ass!!! fast or slow...they can always rip it up

Anonymous (June 26, 2001)

Man who really cares how many fast or slow pennywise songs there are...Ive listen to them since '91 and they havent dissapointed me yet. Punk rock is not all about the speed of the music...its mostly the attitude that you carry with it. Pennywise will always fucking kick ass!

sickboi (June 26, 2001)

Did anyone see the Pennywise commercial on during this week's Jackass?

Anonymous (June 26, 2001)

pennywise is the ACDC of Punk Rock...they've been playing the same song for about 6 or 7 albums now.

Anonymous (June 25, 2001)

Enough fucking percents. Listin to the Casualties or Pantera if you want breakneck fast. Pennywise albums are good music whether slow, mid tempo, or fast.

AnarchyBurger (June 25, 2001)

I know I really should have something better to do, but anyway. Here's the fastest songs BPMs compared. I got the BPMs from AnalogX TapTempo (http://www.analogx.com) so they are not exact. My knowledge about music theory is kinda limited but I suppose all the fast parts are double-time (Like 180 BPM is actually 360 if you'd like)

Land Of The Free:

Time Marches On: 200 BPM
Land Of The Free: 180 BPM
Something Wrong With Me: 170 BPM
Enemy: 220 BPM
It's Up To You:200 BPM
Set Me Free:190 BPM
WTO:170 BPM

Straight Ahead:

Greed: 190 BPM
Can't Believe It:200 BPM
Still Can Be Great:200 BPM
Straight Ahead:210 BPM
Can't Take Anymore:200 BPM

OK I'm too damn tired to do any more statistics.. This didn't prove anything, but I don't understand what you mean by "pop-punk" fastness? The drum beats are very much alike on both albums.. I'm not trying to discredit your review, it's very well done although I don't agree with it on some things, like the fast-n-loud factor..

AnarchyBurger, nitpicker 'til I die

sickboi (June 25, 2001)

God damn, you people have too much fuckin' time, if you rellay want to analyze this album, look at the fast songs on it versus the fast songs on 'straight ahead', the 'straight ahead' faster songs have that "pop-punk" fastness, 'lotf' songs have those faster drum beats, so please don't try to discredit my writing if you're gonna sound like a moron. (i.e.anarchyburger)

AnarchyBurger (June 24, 2001)

By fast I meant that most of the main verses and choruses are fast, Greed has a long slow intro and outro. A song is as fast as the fastest part.. I know this really doesn't make much sense arguing if some song is fast or not.. Speed is relative..

Anonymous (June 24, 2001)

oh , sorry , i made lot of writing mistakes - my keyboard is damaged !
And , they want to Make a message !

Anonymous (June 24, 2001)

Hey ! You wanna know what pennywise pisses off ? Perhaps a rassistic President , Hich School Massacres , Fucking egoismus or The missunderstanding of Violence out there ? I dont like it when every Bands political , cause its good to have some personal lyrics too , but they want to mhave a message with their lyrics .
I think this album IS Faster than Straight ahead , because some songs like Never know , American Dream , Need more arenbt really fast , i think they ree more Midtempo . But Both albums are great , and LoF is the Best album ive heard a long time . It s up to you is maybe one of the best songs ever written , and the rest is great too . There are some really fast Unknown Road tracks and some slower Straight ahead Tracks . I Think its similiar to Full Circle , which is one of their best .
THIS IS A GREAT ALBUM , and if you wana hear some more personal lyrics listen to the old stuff of Millencolin or No fun at all !

Anonymous (June 24, 2001)

some people have way to much time on thier hands

Anonymous (June 24, 2001)

well anarchyburger i haven't heard all of either cd. But i have heard greed, and that is NOT fast.

AnarchyBurger (June 24, 2001)

typo, I meant (52 -> 50)..

AnarchyBurger (June 24, 2001)

This has to be the most pointless post I've ever made here, but here it goes anyway. I like Straight Ahead more than Land Of The Free, even though I got into PW after "About Time" came out. I tend to like faster songs more, so I was kind of surprised when I read this:
" Let me start by syaing if you got into Pennywise during the popularity of "Straight Ahead", then you may want to stop reading now. This album is much faster, louder and pissed off than you would like."

I was like what, when I first heard Land Of The Free it sounded much slower and quieter than Straight Ahead.. Althought the album probably hasn't yet grown on me so that I could really say whether it's better or worse, I can argue that it is SLOWER than Straight Ahead. So being obsessed with statistics I listened through both Straight Ahead and Land Of The Free and did this little statistic that unfortunately doesn't feature any graphs or pie charts.

Straight Ahead:

Fast ones:
Greed
Can't Believe
Still Can Be Great
Straight Ahead
One Voice
Can't Take Anymore
American Dream
Need More
Never Know

Mid-tempo:
My Own Country
Might Be A Dream
Watch Me As I Fall
My Own Way

Slow:
Victim Of Reality
Alien
Just For You
Badge Of Pride

Straight Ahead has 9 fast (52 %), 4 mid-tempo (24 %) and 4 slow (24 %) songs

Land Of The Free?

Fast:
Time Marches On
Land Of The Free
Something Wrong With Me
Enemy
It's Up To You
Set Me Free
WTO

Mid-tempo:
The World
Twist Of Fate

Slow:
Fuck Authority
My God
Who's On Your Side
Divine Intervention
Anyone Listening

Land Of The Free has 7 fast (50 %), 2 mid-tempo (14 %) and 5 slow (36 %).

From these stats we can clearly see that while percentually LOTF has almost as many fast songs (55% -> 50%) the percentage of slow songs has increased drastically from 24% to 36%. In other words, NO IT ISN'T FASTER THAN STRAIGHT AHEAD!

Anonymous (June 23, 2001)

Land of the Free is really great!!! 10 times better than Straight Ahead! The vocals at some songs have too much filters, but it“s alright. To all thoose people that says that pennywise is always the same, so what? NOFX, Bad Religion, No Motiv, and a lot of other bands are the same.. it“s not a problem

Anonymous (June 22, 2001)

since when did pennywise become a political activist band?anyway, this album is pretty good, the best songs are 'wto' 'set me free' 'the world' and 'it's up to you'. some of the songs suck, but overall, a decent cd. it might be their worst album, but that's cause everything in the past has been absoultely great, including 'straight ahead'.- fathead

Anonymous (June 21, 2001)

This is another kick-ass PW album. It dosent seem to have the same emotion as there earlier stuff but its still good. The more that i here it, the more i like it. I'm just glad they never sold out, and still write about stuff they believe in!

Anonymous (June 21, 2001)

Theres worse stuff to blast. Pennywise is a good band. Progressive or not.

Anonymous (June 21, 2001)

Weezer is not punk
it doesn’t belong on this site.

Anonymous (June 21, 2001)

I hate all the people complaining that pennywise just records the same album again and again, so what if you dont like them dont listen to them and leave the people who do enjoy thier music alone, there are alot worse bands to listen to than pennywise.

On a second note, punk was bulit on repeating the same album, think of the Ramones, from thier first to last there was not alot of progression.

Anonymous (June 21, 2001)

I never liked 'em that much until this album. Good stuff.

Anonymous (June 21, 2001)

i'm enjoying the cd. but i'm a little disappointed, i heard it was supposed to be super-charged pick meltingly fast. it's a lot more hard but i don't see it being as fast as their old stuff. over all, it's a fine cd. i highly recommend buying it.

Anonymous (June 21, 2001)

Usually a bands best work coems when it's a band doing what it knows best. And this is Pennywise doing what they knwo best. Most times when a band changes a style the album usally isn't that good anyway. Can you tell me Bad Relgions "Into the Unknown" was their best? O NOFX "Heavy Petting Zoo"? Or Green Days "Warning"? or even Rancids "Life Wont Wait" (A good album, but not the best) Sometimes when a band experiments it can be a masterpiece (London Calling, Out come the Wolves) or just crap (Americana).
Leave Pennywise alone, their are worse bands to be complaining about.

Anonymous (June 21, 2001)

Repetitive? Yes. Stale or forced? No. At least they enjoy making that music over and over again. I think it would be a bad move if they now tried to add ska or pop or rap or anything else to their sound. If Pennywise was just out to please the masses they could've whored themselves out years ago. The reason Epitaph hypes Pennywise so much his because they are one of Epitaphs biggest bands and helped (along with others) to put Epitaph where it is today.

Anonymous (June 21, 2001)

If Pennywise are gonna experiment what are they going to do it with? Damnit, do you people want Pennywise to go hire a horn section, keyboards, and tuba-player.

Anonymous (June 21, 2001)

Progressionally maybe they're somewhat like MXPX, but then again not at all. MXPX changed their sound with their latest record to a much more radio-friendly, overproduced, cleaned up skippy pop-punk sound. Nothing like the new Pennywise album. I'll admitt Pennywise don't evolve much, but so what. It's good music and at least their not slowing down for the masses.

Geoff_Boyardee (June 20, 2001)

Why can't this band write new songs?!? Pennywise puts out a fairly good album...but they do it over and over and over again. There has been no progression at all since unknown road, and it's all the same riff, same stale preachy lyrics etc. They're basically the same as MxPx, but with a different tired sound.

Anonymous (June 20, 2001)

i like pennywise. i like this cd.

Anonymous (June 20, 2001)

New album is good, better than the last one anyway. But its not great, and when youve listened to it for awhile you grow tired.

Its very Pennywise ;)

Anarchy_Adam (June 20, 2001)

I can't speak for everyone, but the reason I hate Pennywise so much is the fact that every new album they put out sounds exactly the same as the last one. Sometimes they make it faster, or slower, but overall, the sound remains the same. I didn't think that "Land of the free" was a terrible album. It was the single most blatant occurance of over hyping that epicrap has ever done. I don't need to hear about it every time I go to their webpage. It seems like weekly updates of "The album is still coming out on June 19th" could have been better spent hyping other albums that they were putting out. If you're into pennywise, buy the album. If you thought their last 4 releases have been kinda stale, you won't be surprised with this 'un.

P.S.
FREE ODB

Anonymous (June 20, 2001)

Wow. What can I say? Another classic PW record. If anyone thought they were softening up after hearing Straight Ahead, you're in for quite a surprise. Ranks right up there with Full Circle, and by far the best sounding Pennywise record to date.

I don't know why some people choose to continually speak shit about these guys and call them a cock rock band. You fuckers can have fun wearing your oatmeal-colored clothing and listening to your shitty Buddyhead-approved bands. Just stay the fuck out of our way.

Anonymous (June 20, 2001)

Simply, this album is is Pennywise using everything they know to maximum effect. The band is still trudging forward, and in my opinion is yet to make a dissappointing album. Sure it's nothing that new, but at least they haven't softened up or tried to be something they're not. All in all this album does not dissappoint like many of the other albums released recently by the other "big" punk bands.(NOFX, Bad Religion, Green Day, Offspring)

sickboi (June 20, 2001)

Sorry about the typos kids....

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