Part of pop-punk's charm has always come from a certain sense of anxious uncertainty, melding infectious melodies with teenage angst to create something that's hard to put down and easy to identify with. Now, 12 albums and almost 20 years into a solid career, Bowling for Soup are challenging that notion with Lunch. Drunk. Love., an album that finds the band tempering the brashness of youth with the kind of confidence that comes with age and experience. Setting the tone is the opening track, "Critically Disdained," a song that lets the world know that Bowling for Soup are a band that knows what they're all about, and whether or not someone likes it isn't going to change what they do or how they do it. This kind of song really feels like a disclaimer, as if the band is saying, "hey, we're dudes that like silly jokes and stuff, so don't be mad when we're not completely serious all the time." Funny thing is, it really works, and a track that's meant to make fun of the fact that the band doesn't care if people don't like them makes the rest of the album pretty endearing. This relatable vibe is what's helped Bowling for Soup endure in what normally feels like a young man's game, so even though Lunch. Drunk. Love. isn't going to change the world, your life, or possibly even your mind about the band, it's a hell of a fun way to spend 40 pop-punk-filled minutes.
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney