Pennywise: Jim (vocals); Fletcher (guitar); Randy (bass); Byron (drums).
Additional personnel: Justin Thirsk (vocals, drums); Bro Hymn Choir (background vocals).
Recorded at Total Access Studios, Redondo Beach, California.
Pennywise: Jim (vocals); Fletcher (guitar); Randy (bass guitar); Byron (drums).
Pennywise plays the kind of four-on-the-floor, no-holds-barred Cal-punk that was pioneered by the likes of Black Flag and the Descendents and has come back into fashion in the wake of Green Day, Offspring, et al. As the four members of Pennywise demonstrate on FULL CIRCLE, however, these guys are no Johnny-Rotten-come-latelys. On their fifth album for punk standard-bearer Epitaph, the band displays the kind of raw energy and tireless inspiration that is the mark of every great punk band.
FULL CIRCLE is the band's first album without bassist Jason Thirsk, who died in 1996, and Thirsk's loss can be felt in the troubled, searching themes that run throughout the album. The album is dedicated to him. On "Did You Really," vocalist Jim (Pennywise doesn't go for that whole surname thing) asks "Did you really wanna die?," immediately adding, "Tell me I'm forgiven." Pennywise may take the weight of the world on its shoulders, but if FULL CIRCLE is any indication, this band is strong enough to keep its balance.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (5/29/97, pp.48-49) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...A full-throttle metallic punk album that revolves around themes of mortality and rebellion....attacks with the ferocity and survival instinct of a wounded Doberman..."