Album Review: The Bouncing Souls - 'Comet'

16 June 2012 | 8:14 pm | Staff Writer
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Solid pop-punk from veterans who don't take themselves too seriously.

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The Bouncing Souls have been around for quite a long time. They've been quite consistant, to say the least, and it doesn't look like this is going to change anytime soon. Hailing from the New Jersey scene, they've been making music since 1989, Comet is their eighth studio album, and they're still going strong, it seems.

The album begins with the opener, Baptized, which is a a solid track about... I don't really know. It's pretty vague. It could be political, though. But it's pretty tight, and it's pretty catchy. The second track, Fast Times sounds like pretty standard pop-punk fare, but it's very tightly produced and well written. The backing vocals are just perfect for the song, and it has an exceptional ska-influenced section near the start. It's not the most memorable song, and you probably won't take its lyrics to the grave, but it's certainly a good, easy listen.

The third track, Static is not overly memorable, but the fourth is called Coin Toss Girl, and it's a song about the woes of having a girl that The Offspring would be proud of. It contrasts serious themes, with light-hearted writing, and one of the catchiest chorus lines of the album. Songs about girls are a dime a dozen, but Coin Toss Girl is worth a buck more than most. (Cue laugh track)

The fifth and title track, Comet, isn't exactly earth-shattering. The palm-muted sections and verse are well written, and tightly produced, however the chorus makes it easily fall short of single material. The sixth track, We Love Fun recalls the band's 2001 hit, Manthem with ridiculously light-hearted lyrics. Even though it's not neccesarily the "best" music, this kind of thing is one of the band's best points, and they don't take themselves too seriously - "DILLIGAF, because we're having all the laughs," Because apparently they think they're up to date with the youth. They're not, but that seems to make it all the more sincere.

The next three tracks in the album aren't overly distinct - Infidel is a Pennywise-lite effort that stumbles more than it runs. The eighth track, DFA - about the narrator being uh, "down for anything" is similar to We Love Fun, but it just doesn't have quite the same appeal. The second last track, Drift Away is a typical ballad that seems to just blend in with every other ballad in this genre. Totally nondescript.

Finally, the album finishes on another high note with Ship in a Bottle, this release's token acoustic track. Whilst they've sung about their friends before in the afformentioned 2001 hit, Manthem, the boys from The Bouncing Souls hit a pretty good track here. Whilst I won't pretend that it's a life-changing classic of a track, it is certainly quality song-writing, and is worthy of a pat on the back that they can still make a vaguely original track when they've been playing the same sort of thing for over twenty years.

Whilst the lack of evolution throughout their career is beginning to grow tiring, The Bouncing Souls have managed to consistantly make good pop-punk without lapsing into adolescent angst and whining, which is endlessly refreshing in a genre where this runs rampant amongst their peers. Whilst I wouldn't say this would be the first album out of their back catalogue I'd put people onto if I was showing them the band, it is a solid effort and nothing to be scoffed at. I would only really truly recommend it if you're a big pop-punk fan, because it does not stand out as much as some of their earlier efforts, but it's certainly worth a listen.