Published on August 20th, 2016 | by Nadia Mishkin0
Album Review: The Bouncing Souls “Simplicity”
THE BOUNCING SOULS just came out with their 10th studio album, Simplicity, on July 29th on Rise Records, and it is simply a good, light-hearted, punk-rock album. It’s a mix of fast, short-n-sweet tracks and some other melodic, poppy ones too. The Bouncing Souls have a hardcore loyal following, and they are probably really stoked on this record which seems to be a throwback to their earlier sound.
Driving All Night
Digital Twilight Zone
I Wanna Be Bored
Writing On The Wall
Up to US
Everyone should be happy about the fast tempo and energetic melody of the first two tracks of Simplicity that almost sound like they could be right off of 2001’s How I Spent My Summer Vacation.
However, the song Satellite is the first one that really got my attention. It slows things down a bit, and Greg Attonito’s voice can be heard so clearly over the melody on this one— he sings really, really well. It’s a dreamy, catchy, little tune that makes you think about outer-space and feel small and fluffy inside. (Small and fluffy? Isn’t it warm and fuzzy? Whatever.) That’s cute. It’s a cute song and I really dig it although I tend for more aggressive stuff usually. Yep, I just listened again, and I really like this song.
“She can see beyond her time and place,
beyond the black of space,
It all belongs to her forever, forever,
Oh oh, satellite”
The next track Digital Twilight Zone I could totally relate to, as I sat in my bed with headphones plugged-in to a smartphone plugged-in to a laptop plugged-in to the wall.
“Lost in the future, glued to a past,
Use to be a cool social outcast,
I have no idea what it’s like to be
alive without this technology.”
It’s a short, fast, happy-sounding song. The whole album seems to go like that— staying true to The Bouncing Souls signature positive sound. Now that I think about it, that puts my finger on what it is about the band that has never blown me out of the water. I usually like a little more darkness— in the chord progressions, keys, vocals. However, giving this album a close listen has definitely gained me some newfound appreciation for them. Simplicity along with other Bouncing Souls albums will definitely be a go-to when I’m in the mood for something more upbeat.
The track Rebel Song had an eerily direct answer to my sentiments of the music feeling too positive overall for my personal taste. That was a trip for me, just as I was thinking “ANOTHER happy song” I listened close and realized the joke was on me and my angsty ways:
“I want to sing a rebel song to tell the world how I feel
About the things that feel wrong and how the people are so deceived.
This could be the last of the rebel songs. Let’s put it down in history,
Change ourselves and move on. Let it be a memory”
Just listen to the whole song. You’ll get what I mean. Musically it’s pretty awesome, too. It’s got a sweet mix of tempos that goes from fast to slow to fast to slow. It works well. Throughout the album you can hear the solidity of a band that’s been together for over 20 years, and the instrumentals are flawlessly produced, but not too clean either.
The rest of the release is full of feel-good anthems like Writing on the Wall and Tightrope, another heartfelt, slower-paced song, Gravity, and closes-out strong with the hopeful, memorable song Up to Us. For anyone who likes melodic punk-rock and pop-punk like I do this album is going to be super enjoyable from start to finish.
To be honest I have never been a big fan of Bouncing Souls. It’s one of those things where I feel like I should like them, but for some reason their music doesn’t grab me like other bands do. It’s like Chipotle. I fucking love Mexican food and giant burritos. But Chipotle is just ok. I´ll eat it, but I’d much rather have Illegal Pete’s. Same with The Bouncing Souls. I’d rather listen to NOFX.
But the new album, Simplicity, is as if Chipotle added 13 new menu items that weren’t all that different, but convinced me enough eat at Chipotle a couple times a month, and give the old classics a try as well.
Maybe I just never listened to this band hard enough before. And maybe I was just too hung-over every time I went to Chipotle.
Also, there’s a song about aliens, which is always a good thing in my opinion.