Friday, June 15, 2012 at 9 a.m.
Few punk rock bands have managed to achieve the longevity that the Bouncing Souls have. It just celebrated its 20th anniversary with 2010's Ghosts on the Boardwalk -- its eighth studio release -- solidifying its place in punk history.
The band released its latest album, Comet, through Rise Records and on its own label, Chunksaah Records. In past years, Rise has catered more to the metal crowd. However, the label signed both the Souls and their frequent tourmates Hot Water Music for summer releases. Both recorded with producer and Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson, who also produced Rise Against's Endgame.
Comet offers the the band's signature New Jersey punk sound with a slick production sheen. This underscores a trend throughout the album. While the Souls' songs have been given a more glossy treatment, the same unrelenting energy and earnest lyrics remain.
Album opener "Baptized" begins with an explosion of distortion and cymbal crashes. Cuts like "DFA" and "Infidel" hark back to the band's older material. "Coin Toss Girl" is an infectious pop-rock gem that necessitates multiple listens. The folk punk-meets-rock anthem sound on closer "Ship in a Bottle" perfectly sums up the Souls' abilities as songwriters and musicians: Its simple yet heartstring-pulling lyrics are primed for impassioned sing-alongs in a crowded venue.
While Comet is a more polished effort by the Souls, diehards may take solace in knowing that the soul (no pun intended... well, maybe) of this seminal punk-rock band is intact. In preparation for its Saturday-night show at Revolution, we've assembled a list of acts that also recently released albums and have toured with this seminal punk band.
5. Hot Water Music
The Gainesville-based punk quartet has a long history with the Bouncing Souls. The two bands even covered each other's songs on last year's Bouncing Souls/Hot Water Music split seven-inch. Having played the Fest, Bamboozle, and countless shows around the globe together, don't be surprised to see these two bands on a bill together in the near future. Hot Water Music's latest album, Exister, was released May 15.
4. The Gaslight Anthem
Gaslight frontman Brian Fallon is a self-proclaimed Bouncing Souls fan (his first tattoo was an homage to the band). Both outfits hail from the New Jersey punk scene and (not surprisingly) cite Bruce Springsteen as a huge influence. In 2009, the Gaslight boys played the Souls' annual "Home for the Holidays" concert in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The Gaslight Anthem's latest album, Handwritten, is set for release July 23.
Against Me! and Bouncing Souls have shared several stages together. A notable South Carolina show in 2004 garnered rave reviews from Punknews.org. If live audience energy is any indication, both bands boast particularly enthusiastic fanbases. Earlier this year, Against Me! began work on its latest album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues. While no specific release date has been set, the band has been premiering some of its new material live.
Although Brian Fallon's tattoo is tough to top, you can spot NOFX's singer and bassist Fat Mike sporting a Bouncing Souls T-shirt in multiple interviews. Aside from being one of the Souls' punk contemporaries, NOFX has had much time shared on the road with the Souls. Both bands are also notable Warped Tour veterans and personal favorites of tour creator Kevin Lyman. NOFX has announced that its next record is set for release on September 11.
1. Cheap Girls
Although Cheap Girls are newer on the scene than the other bands on this list, they have played many of the same shows, like Chicago's Riot Fest and Gainesville's the Fest. They also played at the Souls' record-release shows in New York City and Philadelphia earlier this month. Cheap Girls also put out their latest record through Rise Records. The band's latest album, Giant Orange, was released this past February.
Bouncing Souls recently kicked off their summer North American tour with the Menzingers and Luther and will be playing at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale.
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