Valby Hallen, Copenhagen, DEN - 26/4
The Bouncing Souls
Written by: PP on 27/09/2016 23:45:05
It's a fantastic year for punk rock. New albums by classic bands like NOFX, Descendents, and now The Bouncing Souls with "Simplicity", their tenth album and first since the somewhat disappointing 2012 record "Comet". What that record lacked was inspiration. It sounded like the Souls on autopilot with few, if any, highlights to remember four years down the line. "Simplicity" couldn't be any different. It's the work of a band that sounds completely rejuvenated, like a tightly knit unit that has rediscovered their love for playing upbeat, melodic punk rock music 90s style. Dig up your favorite Epitaph-era records, because while it may not be another "How I Spent My Summer Vacation", "Simplicity" is an excellent reminder why Bouncing Souls are so beloved within the punk rock scene.
Opener "Driving All Night" is as classic Souls as it comes. Explosive opening fueled by Greg Attonito's clean pop punk-inspired vocal style and killer riffs, it sets the mood for the rest of the record that isn't broken even by slower and more balladic material like "Satellite". Here, the band may reach far into pop for the far-reaching chorus melody, but they do so without breaking the dynamic flow of the record, nor the energetic, joyous delivery that the band has always been known for. Gang shout-backed melodies? They're back with a blast on "Hey Aliens", for instance, as are the woo-hoo led bridges that lead into instantly catchy choruses, such as on "Writing On The Wall". In short, the signature Bouncing Souls sound hard at work.
What's improved significantly from "Comet" is the songwriting. The vocal melodies in particular stick to mind already from first listen, and the uptempo guitars, varied percussion, and slick bass lines ensure Attonito has help from all parties involved this time around. Where pop punk bands today concentrate on no-frills riffs or ultra poppy delivery, "Simplicity" finds itself in that cherished niche in between, sourcing its clean, but street credible soundscape from 90s bands like Face To Face and H2O, with Goldfinger also coming to mind from their good days. The nostalgia-driven sing along of "Tightrope" is among the 2016 highlights in melodic punk songwriting, but the high-energy onslaught of "Digital Twilight Zone" and the lovely ballad "Gravity" are right up there as well. If you've always wondered how to get into Bouncing Souls but unsure which album to pick, "Simplicity" presents their sound in the best light, even if it's a tiny notch below their classic material.
Download: Driving All Night, Tightrope, Writing On The Wall, Digital Twilight Zone
For the fans of: Face To Face, Goldfinger, H2O, The Loved Ones
Release date 29.07.2016
Rise Records / Chunksaah Records