Music » CD Reviews


From the Ashes (Epitaph)


Like Noam Chomsky in Dickies, Pennywise has always spiked its jet-engine punk with social commentary. But on 2001's Land of the Free?, the Cali quartet looked at the White House and saw red, upping the political invective with an album full of fist-in-the-air fight songs taking the President to task.

The breakneck Bush beatdown continues on From the Ashes. Much like long-running fellow West Coast punks NOFX, Pennywise has been galvanized by the current administration to the extent that it has dropped its finest, most fuming album since 1997's Full Circle. Most of the band's trademarks are firmly intact: Sub-grindcore drums; chugging, circle-pit guitar; and Jim Lindberg's distinctive vocals, all velvet and venom. Acoustic guitars spring up momentarily on "This Is Only a Test," but mostly this is one incensed anthem after another. From the vein-bursting sing-along "Waiting" to the warp-speed "Now I Know," Pennywise reduces most of its peers to Ashes.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.