You’d be wrong; but forgiven, for thinking that the creepy sewer clown from It had started his own band. But California punks Pennywise are only indebted to Steven King’s creature in name. Never Gonna Die is the TWELFTH record from a band who have near religiously released a politically charged record every two years.
Title track Never Gonna Die makes their intentions clear from the start, questioning the government regimes that hold so many back. Speaking of “grudges been handed down the line” appears to call out generations of white supremacy that continue to end the lives of minorities. Rock music has long been at the forefront of protest, and Pennywise have encapsulated the riotous spirit that spurs people on to bring down unethical governments & ideas.
Naming a song American Lies in 2018 that name checks people not paying taxes or having proper gun control is a welcome bold move. Rather than veiling socio-political statements in metaphors and imagery, Pennywise are taking no prisoners. This is a sentiment echoed through much of the record, and in particular on Can’t Be Ignored – which has a sense of urgency equal to that of the race against dangerously conservative groups.
In amidst all of the doom and gloom, Pennywise still have A Little Hope; or so they tell us. What starts is a long list of how the world is all going to pot, but the sincere cries for hope and love will no doubt strike a chord. The pounding bass id enough to power someone to run a marathon, it’s fierce without being alienatingly aggressive.
The album closes in a raucous blaze of glory in the form of Something New. Just because the record is coming to an end, Pennywise are in for a penny and a pound to cram in as many political jibes as possible. This is potentially the most powerful track of the bunch, because it resonates strongly enough to ultimately usher in a new era of protestors that will one day go down in history as the people who changed the world for the better.
The governments may suck, but Pennywise are channelling their disdain into something many people will be able to relate to on multiple levels. Whilst the genre isn’t the most accessible, the messages and the ideas certainly are. Twelve records in and Pennywise may have just released their most relevant project yet. If nothing else, this is the ideal record to play at obscenely loud volumes when you want to annoy your most sensible parents/neighbours.