15 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

More than 20 years after its release, Pennywise’s 1991 debut remains among the most beloved and enduring releases of '90s punk. Whereas punk had become more cynical over the course the '80s, Pennywise flipped its message and tone for a new decade. While the Hermosa Beach foursome retained hardcore's furious energy, Pennywise's lyrics promoted personal integrity, empathy, and perseverance in the face of obstacles. Like its punk antecedents, Pennywise agreed that the world is a cruel and corrupt ecosystem. But rather than confront that world with nihilism, Pennywise employed the positivity that had previously been associated solely with the '60s hippie generation. Appropriating the title of The Beach Boys' sunny 1966 anthem, Pennywise’s “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” repurposes a positive mental attitude as a value for a new generation of punks. In the words of singer Jim Lindberg: “I have a vision of many things to come/A way to erase mistakes that have previously been done/And a time where man meets man without a glare but with a smile/Stop brooding on old things/Taste new ones for awhile.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

More than 20 years after its release, Pennywise’s 1991 debut remains among the most beloved and enduring releases of '90s punk. Whereas punk had become more cynical over the course the '80s, Pennywise flipped its message and tone for a new decade. While the Hermosa Beach foursome retained hardcore's furious energy, Pennywise's lyrics promoted personal integrity, empathy, and perseverance in the face of obstacles. Like its punk antecedents, Pennywise agreed that the world is a cruel and corrupt ecosystem. But rather than confront that world with nihilism, Pennywise employed the positivity that had previously been associated solely with the '60s hippie generation. Appropriating the title of The Beach Boys' sunny 1966 anthem, Pennywise’s “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” repurposes a positive mental attitude as a value for a new generation of punks. In the words of singer Jim Lindberg: “I have a vision of many things to come/A way to erase mistakes that have previously been done/And a time where man meets man without a glare but with a smile/Stop brooding on old things/Taste new ones for awhile.”

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