Pennywise

Land of the Free

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Review

Pennywise themselves are calling Land of the Free "a wake-up call," aimed at the slumbering masses of America -- an attempt to shake people out of their lethargy, and prod them into thinking about the world. It's also a clarion call to action, made most forcibly on "Fuck Authority," via its demand that "it's time we had our say." However, given the opportunity, Pennywise isn't quite sure what it is they want to say. The songs throw out concerns and reactions, opinions and questions, ideas and concepts, unleashing their own mixed emotions along the way. The quartet's frustration with the current state of affairs singes the tracks, yet solutions and causes by and large evade them. At times it's evident the group feels like they're calling to the deaf while stumbling blindly around in the dark. "Is there anyone listening?" they inquire at one point, half in plea, half in defiance. Pennywise is high enough up in the punk hierarchy to know the answer is yes. Wrapping their message in a barrage of melodies and pummeling beats insures that at every show hundreds of kids will parrot back Land's lyrics, fists punching the air. But will these fans seriously ask themselves the same questions the band are posing? The group hopes so, for the album is obviously meant as a starting point for discussion, raising issues, and consciousness, in hopes of encouraging an eventual grassroots revolution. It's the beginnings of a manifesto, delivering up discussion points for the interested to mull over, then respond with their own ideas via the band's website. From these beginnings Pennywise is determined to forge a plan of action for the future, one that everyone can make their own. ~ Jo-Ann Greene, Rovi