The Bouncing Souls

Bouncing Souls

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All but forgotten, the self-titled third full-length from New Jersey's Bouncing Souls never made much of an impact, yet it still has more highlights than it does embarrassing mistakes. A little rougher around the edges than the group's earlier recordings, the record opens with the near disorienting hardcore attack of "Cracked" before settling into some much more familiar territory. The back to back pop-punk bounce of "Say Anything" and "Kate Is Great" are probably the two most impressive tracks on the record, and once they are taken care of, the band lapses into some less than inspiring punk rock. It certainly isn't poor, but in light of the wry upbeat numbers the band has churned out before and after this record, it is just not up to par. "Holiday Cocktail Lounge" and the anthemic "East Coast! Fuck You!" close out the record on a high note, but over the course of the 16 tracks there is little that could be called ambitious and plenty that doesn't even merit a mention. A great pop-punk force, the Souls have proven themselves time and time again, but even the best have a bad day and this LP seems to represent that. Souls fans will still enjoy most of the rockin' tunes that Greg Attonito and company bash out this time around, but newcomers might want to stick with the other recordings for a better sense of what this group is all about.

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