A few weeks back, the SoCal punk band Pennywise released their eleventh studio album. This album marked the return of their original lead singer, Jim Lindberg, since 2009. With the original lineup back, they decided to create a punk rock album with a unique concept. “Yesterdays” is a true studio album, but contains mostly unrecorded songs written by their late bassist, Jason Thrisk. Pennywise has always paid tribute to their late friend. This album may be the grandest form of respect one group of friends can pay to a lost loved one.
“Yesterdays” touches on various subjects from a global to a personal scale. Pennywise has never been afraid to get political and that is no different here. The first track “What You Deserve” is your typical punk album starter. It has a high energy cadence that every punk rock album needs. The story it tells is of a corrupt police officer; repeating “can’t trust the policeman no more” as the song comes to an end. “Violence Never Ending” is a great track touching on the seemingly ceaseless violence seen all over the world. “Thanksgiving” is an honest song about appreciating what one has. Even songs that seem fun on the surface, like “She’s A Winner” and “Slow Down,” hold some kind of commentary under that initial layer.
The closing track “I Can Remember” is a wonderful song to end on. For an album that was made from compositions by a lost friend, a song that praises a friend and his memory seems fitting. Pennywise has always honored their friends, and this album is probably the biggest honor a band could ever bestow onto a loved one. “Yesterdays” has something to say. It’s political and personal all at once. And, like any good punk album, it will make you think.