If any band deserves a live record, it’s the Bouncing Souls. After seventeen years and seven full-lengths, the band has proven to be one of the most consistent and hard-working in punk rock’s upper level. Unlike the locker-room humor of NOFX or the “look-how-hard-I-am” image of Rancid, the members of the Bouncing Souls have always come across as guys who love punk rock and want to share it. From the sloppy grit of 1994’s The Good, the Bad, and the Argyle and 1995’s Maniacal Laughter through to 2003’s introspective Anchors Aweigh, the Souls have always attacked punk rock with an unmatched sense of passion.
On Bouncing Souls Live, released on their own Chunksaah label, the band members’ love of the medium truly shines through. Blasting through twenty-nine tracks that span the group’s entire career, this release has little to complain about. From the charged energy of “Sing Along Forever” to the sped-up version of “Kate is Great,” the Souls’ songs almost sound better with the audience’s din serving as a backdrop. The production is raw, evoking the feeling of being in the crowd singing along. The band is entirely up-to-par, and vocalist Greg Attonito adds subtle changes to his delivery that amplify the record’s charm.
Whether you’re a lifelong Souls fan or a jaded hipster who scoffs at the thought of listening to a pop-punk record, the Bouncing Souls don’t seem to care. Since their days as Guinness-swigging punks, they’ve made it clear that they’re four friends in a band.
Bouncing Souls Web site: http://bouncingsouls.com/
Chunksaah Web site: http://www.chunksaah.com/news.html
“Apartment 5F” MP3: http://www.chunksaah.com/live/mp3/apartment_5f.mp3
“Punx in Vegas” MP3: http://www.chunksaah.com/live/mp3/punx_in_vegas.mp3