Album Review: The Bouncing Souls

by info.vocallyrics@gmail.com
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They’re back and they’re tearing down the whole building. New Jersey’s own The Bouncing Souls are taking three decades of local punk to the fore.

There has never been a dull day on the New Jersey scene since this frenetic foursome formed, and as the punk scene they grew up on sees something of a renaissance in the United States and beyond, they come to win it back with their new record. ten stories high. Following up on its pre-pandemic reimagining record volume 2It’s time for some new beats and louder than life melodies.

Opening with title track and single ‘Ten Stories High’, the world feels brighter and more hopeful than when their last record dropped. The tuneful chorus and anthemic nature of the tune make it an instant favorite, making its placement as a starting point all the more relevant. A single that could have been plucked from the group’s golden years and still shines today, there’s a timeless element to their sound. However, this sounds more like what the world needs now than what it needed in the musically tumultuous 1990s.

The group have used their decades of reckless experience and no-holds-barred perspectives to put together a different, more relative record. As people who weave real-life stories and anecdotes into sparks of electricity and two-minute-long mayhem, it takes a lot of work and deft senses to pull off such a craft. With tracks like ‘Shannon’s Song’ and ‘True Believer Radio’, there are stories to be told within the words and there’s no stronger storyteller right now than frontman Greg Attonito and his handpicked bouquet of lines and phrases.

The best way to talk about events that are difficult to express in words is through the chords of a guitar and the rumble of cymbals. This has always been the universal language of punk, and the vicious vocabulary is only growing.

Closing ‘Higher Ground’, after a roller coaster of ups and downs, rebounds, you could say, this is where the record ends, but it doesn’t end on a sour note or bittersweet sequence. Still big, still bad, and still blowing the roof off the house from the basement up to the sky. There’s something endearing about a long-term musical project being able to keep the same sound, the same feel, the same energy from start to finish. With younger artists making it look as easy as riding a bike, there’s little appreciation of what older musicians have to catch up to just to tie in the same race. The Bouncing Souls have always kept things together, cleverly crafted and never compromised who they are or what they stand for throughout their entire career and that’s why punk will never die. Punk will never get tired.

Punk rock will always be shameless, unapologetic, and unable to slow down or sit still. It will bounce higher and higher and higher. Ten stories and beyond.

words for Jo Cosgrove

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