14 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When founding bassist Jason Thirsk took his own life in 1996, it was much more than a personal loss for the members of Pennywise. Thirsk’s suicide was an affront to everything Pennywise stood for; from the band's beginning, perseverance had been one of its principal messages, and with Thirsk the members had written multiple songs denouncing suicide and the destruction of self. Hence, Full Circle—the first Pennywise album without Thirsk—was perhaps the most crucial moment of its career. With its faith in its ideals challenged, the band refused to submit to doubt, instead delivering an album about the absolute necessity of valuing life and living it to its fullest. Almost every song presents a vision of a cruel world and then insists that we confront it with unity, courage, and above all, persistence. Jim Lindberg appears riddled by confusion and despair on “Every Time” and “What If I,” but the overarching message is in the final words of “Get a Life”: “Fight on with all your might.” The album closes with a reprisal of Pennywise's classic song “Bro Hymn,” now dedicated to Thirsk. It's an elegy fueled not by self-pity or sentimentality but raw fraternal release.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When founding bassist Jason Thirsk took his own life in 1996, it was much more than a personal loss for the members of Pennywise. Thirsk’s suicide was an affront to everything Pennywise stood for; from the band's beginning, perseverance had been one of its principal messages, and with Thirsk the members had written multiple songs denouncing suicide and the destruction of self. Hence, Full Circle—the first Pennywise album without Thirsk—was perhaps the most crucial moment of its career. With its faith in its ideals challenged, the band refused to submit to doubt, instead delivering an album about the absolute necessity of valuing life and living it to its fullest. Almost every song presents a vision of a cruel world and then insists that we confront it with unity, courage, and above all, persistence. Jim Lindberg appears riddled by confusion and despair on “Every Time” and “What If I,” but the overarching message is in the final words of “Get a Life”: “Fight on with all your might.” The album closes with a reprisal of Pennywise's classic song “Bro Hymn,” now dedicated to Thirsk. It's an elegy fueled not by self-pity or sentimentality but raw fraternal release.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
62 Ratings

62 Ratings

Strung Out ,

Pennywise Comes Full Circle

This album is the result of Pennywise's maturation as a punk band and highlights the band members' individual progress as musicians. The songs on this album are fierce, angry, and lonesome, undoubtedly influenced by the recent death of founding member, bassist Jason Thirsk. Thirsk's death colors the tone and aggressiveness of the album, pushing the melodies darker and the lyrics more somber. Prior to this album, Pennywise had been progressing as a punk band, putting out successively better albums, but still lacking a tight cohesion and solid spirit. True to the title, the band came full circle to produce one of the best albums ever recorded by a punk band or anyone else. Pay close attention to tracks such as "Date With Destiny," "What If I," and the album's true masterpiece, "Did You Really?" Finally, the album ends with a sweet tribute to the deceased Thirsk with a rendition of "Bro Hymn," a song written for fallen friends and released on Pennywise's self-titled album; the track is actually called "Bro Hymn Tribute," if I remember correctly. Overall, this album marked the beginning of Pennywise's rise to being the one of the most talented punk bands around and definitely stands the test of time. The fact that it is remastered just begs for a listening.

sweater kitty ,

Insert pennywise. Throw away Panic @ the Dickhole

Pennywise is that oldschool that no one can complain about. Just raw emotion that our music today lacks. Pennywise were, and are about doing it there way. Not this cookie cutter crap that the radio is saturated with. This album is a perfect example of leader, not follower and a great example for the kids of today. Maybe go you're own way? Instead of trying to one-up everyone. Thats whats cool. Full Circle go buy it.

FSMASH ,

Find this. Buy this.

Everyone’s reviews are absolutely right. Through the tragedy of losing a band member and friend, they produced this amazing album. Melodically it is a masterpiece and in my opinion the apex of their career. There are very few albums that I have kept in constant rotation over the last fifteen years, and this is one of them. I recommend picking up Strung Out’s Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues, if this Pennywise album does anything for you.

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