Hold onto what you've got

I can definitely say that the new Bouncing Souls' album, The Gold Record, is my favorite of 2006. There are several reasons for this that I think are evidenced in the song samples below.

First, I have a long history with this band. They were on my first Punk-O-Rama compilation and happen to tour with some of my favorite bands, including Tsunami Bomb and Against Me!. I have probably seen them live more than any other band. They have energy and passion. They can slow down and make melodiously sad ballads about growing up and leaving. They can be hilariously peppy. I am so psyched about this album, and you should be, too. Really, you should listen to the whole album repeatedly until it is buried in your memory because it is everything you wanted an album like this to be and more.

Lean on Sheena

This is my favorite song on the album. It wasn't until I looked for the lyrics that I realized it was a cover. Avoid One Thing released this song on Side One Dummy in 2002. Avoid One Thing is a decent band, and they've toured with some other decent bands, but I have to say, I was not impressed by their version. This isn't a case of liking the song I heard first so much as that after hearing the Souls' version, I think it sounds much better with their dynamic delivery, as opposed to the rawness of the beginning of the AOT version.

What do I love so much about this song? Lean on Sheena is sort of a smorgasbord of everything that is great about the Souls: their ability to deliver subdued, quiet, beautiful songs and then elevate and louden them in a way that is almost too graceful given the genre.

Midnight Mile

The beginning of this song is very reminiscent of the pre-Anchors Aweigh era, but it comes back slowly in the middle. I get the same imagery in my head from this song as I do when I listen to "Night Train"--a dark, moonlit night, a restless city, movement, departure, change, regret.

There are a ton of other great songs on this album that you should definitely hear. I highly recommend "Letter from Iraq," "So Jersey," and "The Gold Song." If you've never listened to the Souls, you my friend have some catching up to do.


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