Pennywise
Land Of The Free?


4.0
excellent

Review

by owl316 USER (21 Reviews)
October 9th, 2010 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Land of the Free? is a great album, and while it may get repetetive after a while, its still Pennywise at a strong point in their career, both musically and lyrically.

Pennywise rocked the 90's with 5 near perfect albums. 1999's Straight Ahead saw the band move away from their inital sound, but by still sounding like the band we grew up loving for their catchy music, positive lyrics and outspoken rants against conformity and social evils. Pennywise entered the new millenium with a great album, Land of the Free?

Here it seems the band was continuing their journey in moving away from their classic record sounds while still sounding like Pennywise. Although Pennywise delivered political commentary in past records, this was their first album that seemed to be political themed. The cover shows SWAT officers holding the line agaisnt protesters, probably from the Battle of Seattle. The back of the CD case has a bunch of grave stones, and the CD artwork is a collage of newspaper articles about school shootings and other acts of violence.

The album opens up with the furious and catchy punk anthem "Times Marches On." From the gecko, it seems the CD will be fast paced like their past albums but with a more modern sound. However, as the album continues, the songs begin to vary at speed, making this album quite versatile for Pennywise.

Like I said earlier, Land of the Free? is politically themed. Being released in June 2001, this was before 9/11 the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, so one would wonder just what is Pennywise so pissed off about? Well to you punks out there who listen to bands that did nothing but bash Bush and Republicans, the world sucked even before all of them. Songs like "The World" broadcasts the violence in the world while wondering if we'll ever find our way. "Land of the Free?" criticisizes the USA of being hypocrites who thrive on creating national unity. "*** Authority" is well...about rising up against the corrupt law enforcement and government. "WTO" is a rant against the World Trade Organization.

Pennywise being anti-government may turn off some listeners who think they're just being a trendy anti establishment punk band, but Pennywise has really always politically aware. This album has some rants on society too, something no Pennywise fan is a stranger to. "My God" is an attack on organized religon, "Anyone Listening" brings up the tragedies of the past few years such as school shootings and homelessness. "Enemy" is a cry for people to stop fighting amongst themselves.

The playing style on this album ranges from their typical fast paced punk to more slowed down punk tracks. "Divine Intervention" and "Who's on Your Side" are prime examples of Pennywise slowing down. Songs like "Its Up to You" and "Set Me Free" are pure adrenaline filled rock songs that will make you move, no matter what. Pennywise has been known for their fast playing. Byron is an amazing drummer, and while Fletcher and Randy may not be the most jaw dropping players in the world, they make mind blowing riffs, never minding the difficulty or techicality of it.

Land of the Free? was a great Pennywise album. It is a perfect reflection on American life before 9/11, the punk rock Bush hating and before the stressfulness of life became even worse. I wouldn't say thsi is there best album, but it is great, and is excellent for people just getting into Pennywise.



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user ratings (205)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mordecai.
October 10th 2010


8340 Comments


write another review

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2010


7503 Comments


Decent review (pos).

Also: "Pennywise being anti-government may turn off some listeners who think their just being a trendy anti establishment punk band..."

"They are", mayhaps?

Cheers!

owl316
October 10th 2010


83 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

kay gramamr nazi

Gothic666manz
October 11th 2010


27 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review for a great album.



owl316
October 11th 2010


83 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yes it was a very good album. I do find it could get boring quickly, but for the first few times listening to it, or the first time in a while, it could arguably be their best. I still prefer About Time and Straight Ahead though.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2010


7503 Comments


"kay gramamr nazi"

Strong words - especially for someone who was only trying to help you and your review.

owl316
October 11th 2010


83 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

sorry man. there are a lot of gramamr nazis on this site, and you kinda came off a little like one

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2010


7503 Comments


S'okay dude - reading back I could probably have softened my delivery a little bit more, so my apologies too. That said, I only meant well =)

Willie
Moderator
October 18th 2010


17144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. To me, this album was the beginning of their resurgance after Full Circle and Straight Ahead (which I thought were both kind of boring).

Digging: Caligula's Horse - In Contact

owl316
October 18th 2010


83 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah I thought Full Circle was overrated. I think it was praised so much because the band still osunded strong, even when their original bassist comiited suicide. Straight Ahead, upon further listen, has some boring/unoriginal parts, but when there's a good song, its perfect. Straight Ahead was the first Pennywise record I heard, so it may have some nostalgic feelings towards me. Same goes with Full Circle. Songs like Date with Destiny and Society are really good songs, even though the rest of the album was pretty average.





Everall182
June 7th 2012


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, however there are a few mistakes towards the end. This would be definitely my favorite Pennywise album.

random
July 16th 2012


2624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"My God" is a song that should have been huge. That song rules hard.

random
November 12th 2012


2624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"My God" still rules hard.

OscarCotton
May 6th 2017


61 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First half of the album, or side A of the vinyl I imagine, up to My God, is A+ material 5/5, then all the weaker songs are together after that, I think they did this on purpose, could have been an EP, a really amazing 7 song EP.



A great rebound after the rather boring Straight Ahead, Fletcher having to write all songs instead of 1/4 to 1/3 of them (Jason was their main songwriter, for a while before Unknown Road came along, Jim left to finish a college semester and they played as a 3 piece with Jason singing, he was the centre of the band). Hence why SA was meh and on this one they worked harder to make better songs but Byron not using a double bass pedal anymore since SA made him more typical while he used to be close to Brooks Wackerman amazing.

Digging: No Use for a Name - Incognito

OscarCotton
May 6th 2017


61 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They've always been anti-establishment from the self-titled and on. (on the first 2 EP's they were kinda strange, most people only really know the Stand By Me cover on those. I really like the song "Gone" on them anyway...)



They just have other things to sing about sometimes. Jim pretty much turned straight edge after Jason died too.

Clegane
May 6th 2017


165 Comments


shit band for posers

OscarCotton
May 6th 2017


61 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@random They did make a video for My God, it was the second single technically.

Clegane
May 6th 2017


165 Comments


bruh you're responding to 5 y/o comments

OscarCotton
May 6th 2017


61 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah yeah, I know, but I'm not the only one doing it, this thing is made so anyone can comment anytime.



Stuff for poseurs....I was 17 when Unknown Road came out and poseurs listened to shit like Screeching Weasel (past My Brain Hurts), hell pretty much the Lookout! Records bands, and ska/punk, the bane of the 90's, all the ska/punk fags turned to emocore and emopop in the 2000's, not the band themselves, but their crowd did so very much.



A bunch of bands in Sweden played melodic hardcore in the early and mid 90's, they followed the sound and genre Bad Religion invented, melodic hardcore. The real shit, not Poison the Well. 4-5 years later I got into straight up hardcore punk and thrash and crossover and grind but I still like that stuff from time to time. The band's soul killed himself after 3 great albums that our little crew listened and skated to, after Full Circle (which has Jason songs) is the last essential thing from the band, cos it's got Jason written songs on it



I can play Captain Hindsight if I feel like it fucking doofus.



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