The Bouncing Souls

The Bouncing Souls

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Epitaph

The latest record from The Bouncing Souls continues their approach of marrying uplifting lyrics to pop punk, which fortunately does not fall into the cookie-cutter glossy Calpunk sound (unlike bands like NOFX and Millencolin — and yes, I know the latter are Scandinavian). Heck, in one song (the hilariously titled male-bonding paean “Manthem”), there’s even a chant that sounds an awful lot like “oi!”

In general this combination works well, although sometimes bordering on the goofy (“Streetlight Serenade (To No One),” despite being rather touching, is nevertheless a song to the singer’s bicycle), and perhaps sometimes a bit too clever for the band’s own good (“That Song,” about how empowering music can be, features an out-of-time drum beat mimicking a vinyl record skip, which, while showing off the drummer’s considerable chops, is still instantly annoying to vinyl-age folks like me, and the point of which might very well sail over the collective heads of kiddies used to CDs only. But I•m nitpicking here. A very solid release.

Epitaph Records, 2798 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026; http://www.epitaph.com

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