The Bouncing Souls

Rise (2012) Nathan G. O'Brien

The Bouncing Souls – Comet cover artwork
The Bouncing Souls – Comet — Rise, 2012

After nearly everyone has finally stopped paying attention, the Bouncing Souls put out a new album. And holy shit is it ever underwhelming. But you knew that—whether you listened to it or not, you already knew that. If you’re familiar with the band in any capacity whatsoever—whether as a fan or someone that’s merely heard the name before—you knew that. Like Bad Religion, Rancid, NOFX, Pennywise, or other bastions of '90s pop-ish punk, mediocrity is just a given at this point. It’s really unfortunate for us longtime fans that we must now admit to ourselves what our detractors have been saying all along. But before we do that, let’s take a moment to be real with ourselves.

We've known this was coming for a long while now. We chose to ignore the subtle hints way back on Hopeless Romantic. With How I Spent My Summer Vacation we suspected something was afoot but we didn’t really talk about it. Then, miraculously, our worries were put at ease with Anchors Aweigh. Things were looking good, things were looking really good. But then The Gold Record came and while we still sang along, we were pretty certain we knew where this was headed…but of course we held out hope. Then Ghosts on the Boardwalk happened and, well, the bottom fell out on hope. One more record like that and it would become absolute certainty. With the arrival of Comet, comes that absolute certainty, that heart-wrenching absolute certainty. The time has come. We can no longer sweep this under the rug. So, my fellow Bouncing Souls fans, let's all get this over with and just admit it. Stand in front of the mirror, take a couple deep breaths, and when you’re ready, say it with me: The Bouncing Souls suck.

The best we can hope for now is they do that thing that old bands that are stuck in a rut do, where they tour playing a classic album in its entirety. And if they do Maniacal Laughter, my middle-aged ass will be standing in front of the stage, right next to you, singing along to “Lamar Vannoy,” “Quick Chek Girl,” and “The Ballad of Johnny X,” while Bryan Keinlen’s dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun bassline rips our sentimental punker hearts to shreds. But until that happens, we're all done here.

The Bouncing Souls – Comet cover artwork
The Bouncing Souls – Comet — Rise, 2012

Related features

The Bouncing Souls

Interviews • March 2, 2017

Bouncing Souls

Interviews • October 19, 2013

Related news

The Bouncing Souls are Home For The Holidays

Posted in Shows on November 21, 2020

The Bouncing Souls reimagined

Posted in Records on August 26, 2020

More The Bouncing Souls reviews

The Bouncing Souls

Ghosts on the Boardwalk
Chunksaah (2010)

As life continually changes, sometimes constancy is important. Putting in Ghosts on the Boardwalk, the twenty-year anniversary release from The Bouncing Souls, reminds me of times past. Not only does the band sound much like they did a half dozen records ago, but the release comes on their own label, Chunksaah, which started at the same time. This release, a … Read more

The Bouncing Souls

Crucial Moments EP
Rise (2019)

This is the 30th year of The Bouncing Souls, which seems crazy in many ways – including that I’ve been listening to them for nearly 25 of those years. This year is a milestone for the band: a big international tour, this new EP, even a book of memorabilia for the diehards.I’ve had a bit of a love/indifferent relationship with … Read more