ARTIST: THE BOUNCING SOULS
TITLE: CRUCIAL MOMENTS
LABEL: RISE RECORDS
WORDS: BECTON SIMPSON
It’s hard to believe that The Bouncing Souls have been going for thirty years. Anyone who’s caught a glimpse of their live show will know how full of energy and vitality they still are, and it seems they haven’t ran out of things to write about either if new EP ‘Crucial Moments’ is anything to go by. Perfectly timed to coincide with their thirtieth anniversary and coupled with the release of a reminiscent book of the same name, the EP is a collection of six songs which very effectively shows the journey the band have been on over the past three decades as well as proving they still have something to contribute to a scene they helped shape.
Opener and title track ‘Crucial Moments’ is an almost instant Souls classic and arguably one of the best of the six. It has everything that encapsulates what people love about this band – the infectious singalong chorus, the intonations and sound of Greg Attonito’s unique and immediately recognisable voice, the bouncy pop-punk guitars and memorable lyrics. It’s a fantastic, catchy start to an EP which sits neatly amongst the rest of The Bouncing Souls’ back catalogue while continuing to add to their legacy.
“It has everything that encapsulates what people love about this band”
For those concerned that previous album ‘Simplicity’ (2016) went more to the “pop” end of pop punk with less of the “punk”, second track ‘1989’ provides the response. It might be the shortest song of the collection, but that’s because it’s a blistering one and a half minutes of pure oi-punk aggro, harking back to the earlier days of the Souls and showing how far they’ve come. Perhaps, after all, that’s the reason behind the title – the band themselves have been going since 1989 – so this is a perfectly timed track and title for their anniversary.
Similarly along those lines is ‘4th Avenue’, another short song coming in at one minute forty-seven and, along with ‘1989’, bookending the EP as fifth track and second track respectively. With one ‘main’ song on either side (‘Crucial Moments’ and ‘Home’) and the “meat” of the EP in the middle (‘Favorite Everything’ and ‘New New’) it’s a well constructed running order to take the listeners on an auditory journey.
“They might have been going for thirty years, but they’re still right at home doing what they do best – consistently writing and putting out solid music.”
‘Favorite Everything’ has sunshine drenched riffs playing by echoey shimmering sounding guitars, and another singalong chorus that’ll be popular in the pit, and ‘New New’s got that classic pop-punk Souls vibe while still sounding fresh and exciting. It’s a perfect addition to the collection. “Here’s to us” indeed.
Ending on the triumphant ‘Home’ is an apt and fitting finale. This band might have been going for thirty years, but they’re still right at home in the industry doing what they do best – consistently writing and putting out solid music. There isn’t really a ‘bad’ Bouncing Souls record out there, and they might have only put out six new songs this time around, but if the next full length is anything along these lines then it’ll be a real treat for Bouncing Souls fans both old and new.