Category Archives: +++ poppunk
I am so fucking stressed right now (life, money, other things), so I’m listening to Pennywise’s first two full-length albums at Vietnam velocity…. I want you to hear them. Do you ever feel like everything you say and everything you do is falling on deaf ears, and no one gives a shit? And that you try to explain yourself but still, it hurts someone’s feelings and there’s just a great big ball of confusion, and you just want to scream over and over again? That’s exactly how I feel today. And Pennywise always makes me feel better in moments like this, especially when I listen to them at war volume.
I’ve been listening to Pennywise for twenty years, thanks to my friend Adam Schere, who introduced me in late 1994, or early 1995, I can’t remember… he made me buy their self-titled cassette tape from the mall, for $9.98. He said “you ever hear Pennywise dude? Shit, you’d love them. Like Bad Religion, but better.” I’ll always be grateful to him for that, and also introducing me to Jawbreaker and Jets to Brazil, as well. Hi, Adam.
Not only is Pennywise’s music god damn AMAZING…. incredibly tight, melodic, hooky, fucking POWERFUL and INTENSE…. the whole nine…. but their positive, philosophical and absolutely meaningful LYRICS…… changed my fucking life. I hope they change yours, too. As you listen to the first two records (“Pennywise”, and “Unknown Road”)…. follow along with the lyrics at this link. Seriously… just one listen and read of these lyrics 20 years ago, set my world on fire. You can’t say the same about 90% of bands out there.
“Nothing” (from “Unknown Road”, 1993)
Life – I was a lonely man
with my lead boots nailed to the floor, dancing the best that I can
Sweets – took the pain away
I saw a cold death at the end of the line, so I started to pray
Up towards the sky but knew no one would answer me
I asked the trees why they grew toward the sun
I asked the clouds and they rained down bad luck on me
Oh my god oh why hast thou forsaken me?
I asked the teachers who taught me rules to obey
I asked the sages and prophets through time
Came up with nothing but a hole where my faith had laid
no reason, no rite……nothing feels fine tonight.
Crime – it was a price to pay
I found the hole world as guilty as I, it took the danger away
Hate – it was so easy to do
You just directed all your anger at fear and then you follow it through
I went to churches and schools to decide for me
I went to prophets to plea for my life
Went to my parents who gave this dark life to me
Oh my god oh why hast thou forsaken me?
I don’t need to, I don’t want to
I don’t want to wonder why.
If you don’t want to hear my problems,
well you can fuck off and die.
You do not know. Don’t say you know.
Give me some answers for my life.
Now got some explaining to do
I’ve got to come up with solutions in time before my future is through
Hope – for my new promise today
Still I got this strange feeling that time is slowly slipping away
I think this is another one of those “I wrote about them here, but WordPress ate it” entries…. if that’s the case, then here goes again…
If I can think of one band who just doesn’t get enough love at all, it would be Philadelphia-based Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer. When I first heard them, shortly after I moved to PA in 2004, I immediately fell in love with their sound and songs. I have compared them to a mix of Blondie, Metric, Green Day, and the best of the best, of pop music. The songs just have this fire… this fun, heartfelt fire that so very few bands have.
Eight years ago, I interviewed Rach, the singer/keyboardist for a website I used to run called http://www.femalevocals.com, which I never really did anything with, because it was simply too much work. Rach was really cool, fun and funny, in the interview. I asked her serious questions about her songwriting and she would basically explain her process, goofily…. it made me laugh while reading the email. I wish I still had the interview. If I could find it again, I will, and I will post it here in an “interviews” section at Underrated Music.
Without further ado…. yummy tunes:
Of note: Anthony Green (now of Circa Survive) used to be in this band. He’s done vocals on their “Popsicle” EP, and Rach did vocals on a recent Circa Survive recording.
No one knows if there will be more music by the band… Rach and Vince (guitars/vocals) got married a while back. I’d love to hear some new tunes, though. Last album was 2007’s “Schematics.”
I haven’t been in the best of moods at all, lately. So I figured I’d write about a band that always makes me smile and love life: Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer. They are based in the Philly suburbs and a band I discovered soon after I moved to Pennsylvania.
Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer is probably the catchiest band to ever exist. Seriously. I don’t say that lightly. Hooks GALORE.
I’ll let the music speak for itself:
I fucking LOVE this band. Fucking ADORE THEM. They’ve been a bit quiet lately, but as Rachel (lead singer) reassured fans on their official message board, “we’re still alive.” Can’t wait for new music.