Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bouncing Souls - The Good, The Bad and the Argyle (1994)



One of the best hardcore anthems ever written was written by a band that wasn't a hardcore band. Old School by the Bouncing Souls is one of the songs that encapsulates every sentiment about hardcore as a way of a life with just a simple riff and an earnest powerful delivery. The unity, the power, the collective sense of being able to change things with something that helped changed you and affected you so deeply... Of course it starts off with an awesome bass riff. You're off on the right foot if you start your anthem with an awesome slinking bassline... The song just crashes right into being from there. The lyrics are awesome and completely sentimental. Am I being sentimental right now? I'm all about the lyrics...

"Sing a song of old school / I don't really care where you were or who you know / Sing a song of old school / we don't really care what you have to say about this show / The music you love lost it's meaning / because these people are not aware / Some people talk others are listening / Sometimes I think I just don't care / It's easy to forget the choices we've made and the promises of the past / But if we really listen to these old school ideals / we'll find what's good and make it last / Sing a song of old school / everyone knows but it seems we all forget / the time we needed to see these ideals for ourselves and what it meant / I guess I'm on a soapbox singing a hymn that you don't want to hear no sermon / When I step down and look around all I see is separation / Find what's good / Make it last

Personally, that stands as a testament for future generations of any sort, whether or not they're into punk or not. But I digress.. The album is fantastic, really, from the first song, I Like Your Mom (I wanna marry her and be your dad) to the hyper fast The Guest, to These Are the Quotes From Our Favorite 80's Movies. This ones pretty funny... All the lyrics are from the most classic of 80's american teen movies, mostly with John Cusack and mostly by John Hughes. (Special nod to Some Kind of Wonderful with Eric Stoltz). Guess the movies out, leave comments, I dont have anything for you to win, nothing but Glory at least. And by Glory I mean a VHS tape of the Denzel Washington movie.

Joe Lies When He Cries (another 80's movie reference... any takers?) is one of the best Avail songs Avail never wrote. It even ends in a chant of "Lies Lies Lies!". It shares stylistic similarities with Avail, but it speaks quite poignantly, and humorously, about honesty (obviously). It's a good example of how the Bouncing Souls are good at delivering a strong message in a tongue in cheek sort of way. And it also goes towards describing why the Souls were popular with a lot of hardcore kids int he same way Avail were. Theirs was a strongly message based approach, but not in a way where they were beating you over your head.

Theres a few slightly experimental songs, for a punk band at least, and a few covers, most notably of I Like Candy, which they remain surprisingly faithful to. The best part of the end of the album is the song Neurotic, which besides having great lyrics of the same nature, has a great ending where everything just comes off the rails and ends with a sample of dude freaking out. It's funny and alarming all at once, and I'd like to think that that was what the Bouncing Souls wouldve wanted us to feel about them, funny, yet alarming.


1. This isnt really a footnote, but I'm numbering it anyway. I first heard of the Bouncing Souls the first time I saw Snapcase play live. The singer had a Bouncing Souls shirt on and a few days later I saw a review in a zine and went out to find it.

26 Comments:

Blogger Dying Optimistic said...

hey, would you happen to have that new envy?

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shareminer it man...

it's really easy


and it's really good

1:54 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Or Sordo...

Envy - Abyssal
http://www.zshare.net/download/475002375ee67f/

10:11 AM  
Blogger papstar said...

joe lies when he cries was a beautiful song.
say anything?

10:18 AM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

I'd almost forgotten you were going to post this, excellent write-up. What you say in the first paragraph really encapsulates how I feel about Summer Vacation...

...which brings me on to ask, what's your opinion on more recent souls? For me, the last three albums are kinda unassailable. But I do like their very bouncy early hardcore stuff, so thanks for this!

oh yeah, and Abyssal is very good, especially if you like Insomniac Doze. I didn't even bother Sharemining it, I just googled it as soon as I heard it was released! Now my legit copy is in the post... sorry, mail

10:43 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

haha, irish mutherfucker. ^_^

i kinda feel off with the Souls, and I dont knwo much of their more recent stuff. Though I should definitely check it out, cuz this has remained one of my favorite punk records.

Joe Lies quote is from Say Anything, give the boy a biscuit!

hey, paps, i havent seen you around, did you ever get in touch with Jaysus in B'more?

street cred to anyone who can name the all the quotes from this album...

11:03 AM  
Anonymous michael said...

there's only ONE thing keeping abyssal from being the perfect record: it's too damn short. as soon as you really start to get into it, it's over. definitely can't wait for their next full length now...

11:57 AM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

^ the irony of your comment is that the Envy EP is five minutes shorter than this Bouncing Souls album... I checked! but yeah, I get your point.

The first track (still talking Envy here) is pretty epic, even for them. Actually, I think the first and third tracks sound really Insomniac Doze-ish, and the other two (the shorter ones) sound like they could have been from Dead Sinking Story. I don't know, not having listened to it that closely... if anyone caught them on tour recently apparently they've been playing these songs.

More irony... you Yanks send stuff through the 'mail' via the US Postal Service; whereas my Envy CD will be sent from the UK in the 'post' via the Royal Mail... and then, to complicate things, via An Post (pronounced 'Pust', since it's Irish). Whaddya know?

12:16 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

weird about the whole Mail / Post thing..
lets get down to brass tacks though...

what about these quotes? i want answers... i know them, but do you?

12:44 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

weird about the whole Mail / Post thing..
lets get down to brass tacks though...

what about these quotes? i want answers... i know them, but do you?

12:44 PM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

I won't give it away, 'cos I cheated and googled the line (I am of the wrong generation, after all)... but I happened to see recently part of the movie that 'Joe Lies When He Cries' quote comes from... I was flicking around the TV and saw a young *Cusack* wearing a Clash t-shirt and smashing beer bottles, and thought, hmm, interesting...

good film. Funny how I had completely forgotten about that until today.

1:03 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

i fucking love that movie... i think Paps already nailed that one down...

im just gonna go through em.

Lay Em Down and Smack Em Yack Em is from Airplane

Some Kind Of Wonderful is a movie with Eric Stoltz and Mary Stuart Masterson

Quotes from out Favorite 80's Movies has quotes from, Some Kind of Wonderful, Say Anything, Valley Girl, Better Off Dead, Breakfast Club and possibly one more. Im not listening to it right now.

1:09 PM  
Blogger proven hollow said...

maybe i'm some kind of dickhead, but for some reason i always thought this band was some kind of shitty ska band. maybe i heard one song back in the day and it had ska like tendencies? am i wrong here? or is it just a shitty ska like name for a band? i dont know. regardless, i have always throught they were a shitty ska band and have never listened to any of their music. and i still refuse to listen to it regardless of whether they are in fact a shitty ska band or not. actually i refuse to read any kind of review about them, since they rarely mention the word "ska," therby confirming the fact tat i am a dickhead and refuse to give a band a fair chance.

3:12 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

dick. listen to it, its great, its like the Descendents and Avail and the Clash (minus the political discourse) in a car crash... all bloody dismembered pieces and lots of lols...

You will like it.. At least listen to the song Old School.

as for the rest of their work I cant really comment, cuz I never really listened to it much. Gabba would be a better source for that...

3:31 PM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

...yeah, I have heard ska mentioned in their context. I'm not sure why, now that I come to think of it. I suppose Clash = ska tendencies; or else maybe it's cos they're on Epitaph...

the Avail comparison still holds. Hardcore but having fun with it.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is good, but that Screw 32 lp 'unresolved childhood issues' which came out around the same time is waaaaaay better! Then they (Screw 32) signed to FAT put out a 2nd lp, which was given the FAT treatment & so lacked balls, a damn shame!! Then they broke up!

But yeah, Screw 32=way cool!

j.

7:50 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

i remember screw 32, i'm not sure if i would hold them above this one record, but they were pretty awesome....

all this is irrelevant though, cuz i'm gonna make an Avail post, which wipes the floor of all punk from this era. thats a lofty claim but im sticking to it. ^_^

drop that screw 32 record on us... i'll get that shit up.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous neil said...

Bouncing Souls have been kinda weird over the days, they have this whole "anthem" feel to everything they do. Very sing-a-long-able, but something keeps me from feeling attached to them.

On a separate note, I think someone should review the new Envy and all it's glorious "you can totally tell they listened to Europeans because it's happy sounding for once"-ness. Not that I'm hinting at anything.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Tom08 said...

Wow, a Screw 32 reference! Funny because I saw Screw 32 AND the Souls at a show at the Tune Inn in New Haven, CT back when "The Good, The Bad..." was the only CD they had out. Great show, and that Screw 32 record is well worth seeking out.

That "sample of a dude freaking out" at the end of "Neurotic" is from Raging Bull. Pretty heavy scene.

4:44 AM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

hey neil, think you could elaborate on your non-hints there? Do your own mini-review! I'd be interested to hear this happiness theory... might do my own post but not before my copy actually arrives.

Also, the reason the Souls are so anthemic now is that they listen to way too much of their parent's Springsteen records (actually read that from an interview with them around the time of Anchors Aweigh)... and I like it!

7:48 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

dude, i used to go the Tune Inn all the time... that was a great venue..

8:57 AM  
Blogger acrosshistory said...

this band was amazing live, growing up in south central pennsylvania they useto come around all the time, they were so much fun.. if i ever revisit the souls, it's always this album.....

10:35 AM  
Blogger Jeff Chord said...

*cues my entire chest tattoo*

12:41 PM  
Anonymous war machine said...

They were never a shitty ska band but they were some sort of weird punk/funk outfit initially. Check the hard to find Green Ball e.p. for that. But this record blows away anything they ever did after. Maniacal Laughter might be the only other thing recommended. They fell off pretty hard once they got on Epitaph and were on the warped tour every goddamn year. Really nice guys and totally grounded in hardcore. They were down with Token Entry and the guitarist played at the Token Entry reunion at Wetlands.

Also just wanted to say this site rocks. I'm feeling all gushy reliving so many great records and memories. I was probably at several shows with all you folks in attendance. Always wondered what happened to everyone. We're all sitting behind computers trying to find the scene. ha.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..where is the download link......?

4:46 PM  
Blogger japanesegodjesusrobot said...

They were indeed down with Token Entry. They even named their label Chunksaah! after Tim Chunks, Token Entry's singer. In late 1992, Tim started singing for the New Brunswick based band Headstrong (anyone else remember them?). I saw them play at the Busch Student Center in Piscataway, NJ in November of '92 with Sticks and Stones and (maybe) Homos with Attitude, a band fronted by New Brunswick's only gay, Hispanic skinhead Pedro Serrano.

Anyway, Tim eventually became Green Day's road manager and Token Entry are playing another reunion show later this month in Asbury Park.

As for the Souls, I never made it past Maniacal Laughter, either, but I love all of this old stuff. The 7" with "Old School" is them at the peak of their (early) powers, I think. I don't have most of their vinyl anymore, so thanks for this.

2:30 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home