The Bouncing Souls have been masters of the pogo-tastic melodic punk rock sound for the best part of 25 years, and during that time they’ve released some truly killer albums packed with the sort of songs that sound great on record, but which really come alive in a beer-stained sweatbox.
‘Simplicity’ is another collection of songs that adheres strictly to this rule. It certainly sticks to The Bouncing Souls’ blueprint of less is more, with most of the songs barely scraping the two-minute mark. Consequently,‘Simplicity’ barrels along like a montage of all your favourite nights out. Fun, infectious and brimming with positivity, it’s an album that is designed for brothers (and sisters)-in-arms to sing along, get drunk, fall in and fall out of love to.
What’s most interesting about ‘Simplicity’, however, is just how great The Bouncing Souls are when it comes to the more mid-paced numbers. Cuts like ‘Satellite’ and ‘Gravity’ show some real pathos that’s not often associated with the New Brunswick mob. Of course, they still retain the swagger that’s synonymous with The Bouncing Souls, but they’re a touch more considered and will only make you want to sing into the face of a complete stranger while grinning like a maniac, rather than making you want to throw yourself in the pit and raise your fist in the air. It’s a small but subtle difference, but one that adds plenty of light and shade to The Bouncing Souls somewhat predictable (albeit consistently gold-medal-winning) sound.
Ultimately ‘Simplicity’ is classic Bouncing Souls, and long-standing fans will surely lap it up. If you’re starting afresh, I’d still suggest starting with the classics – ‘The Bouncing Souls’ and ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation’, but after that you won’t go far wrong with ‘Simplicity’. Warm, sincere and a lorry-load of fun, it’s The Bouncing Souls near their life-affirming best.
’Simplicity’ by The Bouncing Souls is out now on Rise Records.
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)