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Pennywise / Sick of It All - live in Washington, D.C. (Cover Artwork)

Pennywise / Sick of It All

Pennywise / Sick of It All: live in Washington, D.C.live in Washington, D.C. (2005)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


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

I miss my truck. You see, I used to have a pickup truck. 1999 Toyota Tacoma, 4-wheel drive, decked-out with about 30 stickers adorning the back sliding window. All the greats were represented: Kid Dynamite, Hot Water Music, Bad Religion, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Descendents, Black Flag, Strike Anyw.


I miss my truck. You see, I used to have a pickup truck. 1999 Toyota Tacoma, 4-wheel drive, decked-out with about 30 stickers adorning the back sliding window. All the greats were represented: Kid Dynamite, Hot Water Music, Bad Religion, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Descendents, Black Flag, Strike Anywhere, Avail, Dillinger Four, Against Me!, Dropkick Murphys, and of course Sick of It All and Pennywise. My point: Sometimes you gotta let things go, and move on. I recently sold the truck and purchased a new vehicle, yet I love to revisit all the great times I had in that truck driving to shows up and down the East coast. So with the chance to see two of my favorite bands from my adolescent years together in a small club together, it was time to take a trip in my new vehicle, 2 hours away to Washington, D.C.

Boston's own Lost City Angels kicked the night off to what seemed to be a somewhat lethargic crowd. Now, I could be wrong, but I had heard rumors this was a 18+ show, and at first the crowd was sparse, which surprised me for this bill. Nonetheless, LCA played like the room was filled to capacity. If you are unfamiliar with their work, Lost City Angels are comprised of former members of yesteryear's Spring Heeled Jack, yet sound NOTHING like them. The play a fusion of street punk mixed with high energy rock'n'roll. Think early Explosion. And despite their best efforts, the entire night would be plagued by a terrible sound system. Completely bass-heavy, the guitars and vocals of every band were completely muffled. Regardless, it was still a great set, filled with tracks from both full-lengths, the self-titled and new LP Broken World. "Liberation," "Clutching At Shadows," "Broken World," and my personal favorite (since the online posting of their demo a few years back) "Edge of 21" all found their way to the set list, amongst others. My highlight of the set was, without question, the insane drumming by Adam "fucking" Shaw. The man plays like he's possessed. Have you ever watched someone play and just think of how many heads they must go through? I'd like to ask Adam that myself. Next time they come though your town, be sure to check them out.

There's not much I can write about Sick of It All that hasn't been written, or said, before. If you live under a rock somewhere in Antarctica, Sick of it All OWN hardcore. You wanna play in a hardcore band, first consult Sick of It All. Patent pending. You argue your Black Flag, Minor Threat and Bad Brains all you want, but Sick of It All stripped the jazz from Black Flag, the speed from Bad Brains and the preaching from Minor Threat and created straight hardcore. This isn't a knock on those others listed, simply a reaffirmation of Sick of It All's place in my mind's "Hardcore Hall of Fame."

On this evening, Sick of It All were on point. I'd honestly say the problems with the sound system may have made Sick of It All sound better. Bass-heavy? No problem. Vocals being drowned out? Shit, if anything, Lou would see that as a challenge, not a problem. All facets of SOIA's lengthy catalog made their way into the set including my favorite of the night "Paper Tiger (Faking the Punk)," "Relentless," "Disco Sucksâ?¦Fuck Everything," the REAL inspiration for the "Braveheart game" -- "Scratch the Surface," "Injustice System," "Call to Arms," "Sanctuary," "Just Look Around" (with joking aimed at Jamie Jasta of Hatebreed for not paying "royalties" for lyrics of this song used) and of course, the always fun to sing along to closing anthem "Step Down."

And then there was one. Say what you will, but for years Pennywise made consistent music that I loved, and still love today. I'll admit the past few albums haven't been my cup of malt liquor, but I still break out Full Circle, Unknown Road, About Time and Straight Ahead on a semi-regular basis. And live, Pennywise never disappoint.

The entire set was fast-paced singing along, with Jim, Fletcher and company leading the way. "Society," "Perfect People," "Every Single Day," and older favorites like "Pennywise" and "Final Chapters" keeping me in that groove. Even though I highly expected it (I mean, it was D.C. after all), we were treated to the Minor Threat cover of the same name. Fletcher made a brief comment that the first time they played it at the old 9:30 Club, which I think I attended about 12 years ago; they were afraid they'd get their ass kicked for playing it.

Despite how you feel about Pennywise, for many, they were the gateway drug of punk. I saw them as one of my first shows, and am glad they are still going today, 16 years later. And in my humble opinion, I'd rather see kids brought in listening to Pennywise than the latest fashion obsessed band with make-up on their faces and dollar signs in their eyes.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Sick of It All - Death to TyrantsThe Falcon - UnicornographyAmerican Steel - Destroy Their FutureSnapcase - Designs for AutomotionMadball - Hold It DownMinor Threat - Complete DiscographySnapcase - Progression Through UnlearningThe Clash - London CallingOperation Ivy - Operation IvySnapcase - lookinglasself

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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.
Anonymous (November 22, 2005)

I love seeing people argue over about "what scene is what scene" and who's was better and yada yada yada. Okay. All i know is that sick of it all is worldwide baby!!!!!!! still going. And if they were here, they'd tell a lot of yall to shut the hell up and you would. Oh yeah, i dont consider 930 club to be small. It has it's pro's and cons. Area = pro. Shithead bouncers= cons

Anonymous (November 21, 2005)

What? Maybe not everything they made was simple hardcore punk, but they were all most definitely part of the hardcore scene...

I don't know... I guess Black Flag without the jazz would bore me. Same goes for Bad Brains without the speed or Minor Threat without the conviction. SOIA might not be preachy, but they sure as fuck pulled the tuff guy schtick on their early albums... Their lyrics aren't anything stunning to me, either.

I'll take your word that they're probably awesome live, but I don't think they have much to do with the real hardcore scene- the one revolving around kids setting up basement shows that only 30 people end up going to... I see that as more of a continuation of the old DIY mentality than bands like SOIA.

But anyway, I bet they are awesome live.

-Will

sickboi (November 21, 2005)

And I really think they sound "generic" to some because of how many bands bit their style.

sickboi (November 21, 2005)

Will -

I don't see Minor Threat, Black Flag or Bad Brains as "defining" hardcore bands. I see them as the pillars of their own sounds. Pioneers. Innovators.

Kinda the same as how I don't see the MC5 as "punk band" or Chuck Berry as a "rock guitarist".

Of the bands I mentioned in the review, Sick of It All built on what they started without copying their defining trademarks.

Anonymous (November 21, 2005)

"My love for SOIA comes from the idea of consistantcy, integrity, and seniority. In my eyes, its not about who did it first, or the most unique, but who has done it the best.

Winner - Sick of it All."

Yeah, but compared to Black Flag? Bad Brains? Minor Threat?

Basically, as you said in your review, they stripped the best qualities from these bands and we're kind of left with ultra generic hardcore...

But you should probably check out RAMBO, I bet you'd love them. (that's not an insult, they're a similar sounding band with better lyrics)

-Will

joeg (November 21, 2005)

"My love for SOIA comes from the idea of consistantcy, integrity, and seniority. In my eyes, its not about who did it first, or the most unique, but who has done it the best"

although i'm not the biggest fan of NYHC, i do respect SOIA for where they came from and where they still are unlike say agnostic front. although i think just because they've been around for 15 years releasing mostly good records doesn't annoint them best ever.

SICKBOI (November 21, 2005)

Let me clarify something...

I don't generally like a lot of NYHC, but my statement comes from the idea that SOIA gave hardcore an identity.

"Less fashion, more thashin'"? - If you think SOIA is a fashion driven band, you are highly mistaken.

My love for SOIA comes from the idea of consistantcy, integrity, and seniority. In my eyes, its not about who did it first, or the most unique, but who has done it the best.

Winner - Sick of it All.

Anonymous (November 20, 2005)

Excellent review.
Mr. Kenzington

Anonymous (November 20, 2005)

Sick of it all, Cro Mags, AGNOSTIC FRONT, WARZONE(which i believe was one of the best NYHC band)
pretty significant

Anonymous (November 20, 2005)

Sick of it all, Cro Mags, AGNOSTIC FRONT, WARZONE(which i believe was one of the best NYHC band)
pretty significant

Anonymous (November 19, 2005)

if you agree with the guy below me, then you are one of the people described in the last part of will's post

Anonymous (November 19, 2005)

NYHC = best hardcore. If you disagree than you aren't worth talking to.

Anonymous (November 19, 2005)

NYC never, ever led hardcore... In the 80's, it was overshadowed and outnumbered by LA, DC, Boston and other areas... In the 90's, Oakland, CA and likeminded other places had better scenes, and these days, well, not much has changed.

Not that you can judge bands by where they're from, but NYC skinhead uniform conformist hardcore is usually boring.

-Will

Anonymous (November 19, 2005)

"Maybe in the NYHC scene, but where I'm from, that scene is insignificant against the other styles."

Hahahhaahahahahaha
NYHC ran the hardcore show for a long time, i would love to know about your scene that makes nyhc insignificant.

Anonymous (November 19, 2005)

pennywise sucks

iheartadam (November 19, 2005)

Ah, the boys are her friends. Wait. Ron's pushing late thirties now.

Regardless, are they still into putting on makeup or was that just a short term fling?

SteveJonesTheRealBones (November 19, 2005)

""Do they give you stickers for being on the Street Team?" - iheartadam

I have no idea what they do for the street team ... The boys are my friends, and I don't need to recieve little perks to encourage me to support them."

oh, they give stickers to you for being their friend then?

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Crookedsuperhero (November 19, 2005)

"Oh wow, another "That band's not (blank)-core. How the hell can you call them the greatest (blank)-core band of all time?? Now THESE bands that have sold 12 records a piece and sound like they recorded their albums in a tin can, they're REAL (blank)-core!!"

I thought that shit went out with "scene points" and the word "poser"."

God i'd love to kiss you right now....

Anonymous (November 19, 2005)

"let's be honest here folks. sick of it all is pretty good and deserve a spot on the "hardcore hall of fame" but nyhc was and always will be near the bottom in the scheme of best hardcore scenes of all time. cro mags, agnostic front, madball-all considered the pillars of nyhc and all bands that for the most part abandoned the "punk" in hardcore punk"

You might be the biggest ahole ever

CarrieCatastrophe (November 19, 2005)

"Do they give you stickers for being on the Street Team?" - iheartadam

I have no idea what they do for the street team ... The boys are my friends, and I don't need to recieve little perks to encourage me to support them.

Anonymous (November 19, 2005)

Oh wow, another "That band's not (blank)-core. How the hell can you call them the greatest (blank)-core band of all time?? Now THESE bands that have sold 12 records a piece and sound like they recorded their albums in a tin can, they're REAL (blank)-core!!"

I thought that shit went out with "scene points" and the word "poser".

Anonymous (November 19, 2005)

"Raped Ass" isn't really a masterpiece of hardcore, Ken, but I get what you're saying... And "Is This My World" could possibly be the greatest hardcore record of all time...

Sick Of It All took the machoness from 2nd wave NYHC and ran with it... Not to say they didn't make some quality records. Their early material is awesome. I just don't see the connection between bands like them and bands like The Bad Brains or Black Flag.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that it's a shame that no one really gets into the unique and individual side of hardcore punk... It pisses me off that when people say "old school hardcore," you can usually chalk it up to another shitty YoT clone, or worse, Earth Crisis xmoSShxkkkorex.

There's still a vibrant scene, though... And these bands have pretty much nothing to do with it, which I guess is okay because they're old dudes.

"Less Fashion, More Thrashin"
-Will-

Anonymous (November 18, 2005)

let's be honest here folks. sick of it all is pretty good and deserve a spot on the "hardcore hall of fame" but nyhc was and always will be near the bottom in the scheme of best hardcore scenes of all time. cro mags, agnostic front, madball-all considered the pillars of nyhc and all bands that for the most part abandoned the "punk" in hardcore punk.

iheartadam (November 18, 2005)

"Anyone who has anything bad to say about LCA clearly knows nothing about music. Those guys put everything they fucking have into their music and it shows. They're some of the most amazing people that I've ever met, and they actually give a shit about the people that they play for, which is more than I can say for most of the other bands around these days.

-Carrie."

Do they give you stickers for being on the Street Team?

skolarx (November 18, 2005)

i agree with the guy a bunch down who said something about pennywise being a joke. last week i saw them and they were straight up boring. murphy's law was great that night though. jimmy was his usual self, much better at on stage banter than actually singing. started talking about the venue and how they had played there opening for the beastie boys back in 87. also of note he introduced "someone's gonna get their head kicked in tonight" as a fleetwood mac song. bet that confused more than a few kiddies

Anonymous (November 18, 2005)

Anyone who has anything bad to say about LCA clearly knows nothing about music.

except for the fact that they know how it sounds...hence the bad stuff they say

CarrieCatastrophe (November 18, 2005)

Anyone who has anything bad to say about LCA clearly knows nothing about music. Those guys put everything they fucking have into their music and it shows. They're some of the most amazing people that I've ever met, and they actually give a shit about the people that they play for, which is more than I can say for most of the other bands around these days.

-Carrie

blinkrules (November 18, 2005)

930 club isnt bad, its in a shit area though.

Anonymous (November 18, 2005)

Sick of it All = shitty
Pennywise = shittier
Lost City Angels = shittiest

gladimnotemo (November 18, 2005)

What Ken said. Looking at terms of "major punk labels", maybe you could argue that, but there's no way, looking in a broad scope.

iheartadam (November 18, 2005)

"-Ken

(Before the hateful replies begin, sit your ass down and listen to the "Pick your King", "Is this my World" and "Raped Ass" records. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you have no business making any sort of statements about hardcore music.)"

No thanks Ken. Where I'm from we know all hardcore music sucks.

Anonymous (November 18, 2005)

"Sick of It All stripped the jazz from Black Flag, the speed from Bad Brains and the preaching from Minor Threat and created straight hardcore"

Dumb statement

Anonymous (November 18, 2005)

"Sick of it All OWN hardcore. You wanna play in a hardcore band, first consult Sick of It All"

Your sad little discription of hardcore made my stomach churn. Sick of it all were decent, but wouldn't even make most top ten lists about the best hardcore band ever. Maybe in the NYHC scene, but where I'm from, that scene is insignificant against the other styles.

-Ken

(Before the hateful replies begin, sit your ass down and listen to the "Pick your King", "Is this my World" and "Raped Ass" records. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you have no business making any sort of statements about hardcore music.)

Anonymous (November 18, 2005)

930 club sucks dick.

dazed (November 18, 2005)

Sounds like a pretty damn good show.

I saw the Suicide Machines on Wednesday and they were awesome, I'd write a review but I gotta go register for the Fest.

jamespastepunk (November 18, 2005)

Sounds like a fun show.

Anonymous (November 18, 2005)

what do you drive now?

TheOneTrueBill (November 18, 2005)

In Chicago they had Jimmy Gestapo sing Minor Threat, and he jumped into the crowd. He was a big guy and fell on top of me and he was always one measure behind the rest of the band. It was funny.

The only gripe I had with Pennywise's set was the song selection was a bit too "Straight Ahead" heavy. I think they did five songs from that but none from Unknown Road, and only two from their last two albums. And now that I think about it, I'm not sure if they played anything from About Time either.

Anonymous (November 18, 2005)

Pennywise is a joke

direct quote from last week's show:

"WHO HERE HATES THEIR PARENTS?!?!?!"

and my favorite:
"THIS SONG HERE IS FOR ALL THOSE FUCKIN COCKSUCKERS DOWN IN NEW ORLEANS...FUCKING, THE MAYOR, FUCKIN THE HEAD OF FEMA, FUCKIN BUSH...LETTING OUR OWN PEOPLE DIE, FUCK THEM ALL"

gg guys

iheartadam (November 18, 2005)

" Lost City Angels are comprised of former members of yesteryear’s Spring Heeled Jack, yet sound NOTHING like them."

Yeah, that's actually a bad thing.

I thought the Lost City Angels just had (skawise) Ron from SHJ and Nick from (at one time) the Pilfers.

Anonymous (November 18, 2005)

You should have bought a decent Camcorder with the money you got for your hick truck.

Anonymous (November 18, 2005)

Average age of band member at this show: 47

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