BOUNCING SOULS – COMET
In an industry where the majority of artists are never-were’s and if success is ever found, it’s just as a flash in the pan, it’s quite an achievement to find any amount of recognition, let alone a 20+ year career in punk rock. Not only have the Bouncing Souls done so, they’ve triumphed and appear to have hit their stride. With that, a certain maturity has been found seeing the band grow in technical proficiency, songwriting ability and downright passion with each successive album. Now, with the release of Comet, their 9th album, 2 questions arise: Can dudes in their 40s really put out poignant music? To which, the answer is yes. But, will Ghosts on the Boardwalk, be the pinnacle of their career or will they continue to top themselves? Not so fast…
Firstly, for those keeping score at home, Ghosts… had 13 tracks while Comet weighs in with a measly 10 songs. Now, let’s move on to content with a track by track analysis:
1. “Baptized” starts the album like a kick in the teeth. Holy shit they’re doing it. The Bouncing Souls are un-fucking-touchable!
2. Oh, wait a second… “Fast Times” is where the ‘Souls start to shoot themselves in the foot. This pains me to say, but the dumb hook ruins an otherwise great song. ( “We asked for it, we got it. We paid for it, we want it. We love it, we hate it. We own it ‘cause we made it” C’mon, guys. Really?) In my opinion, little lyrical stumbles like these plague the album.
3. “Static” almost comes off unscathed, aside from being lyrically stagnant and repetitive.
4. “Coin Toss Girl” turns the tides and is another one of those thoughtful ‘Souls love songs; it goes off without a hitch. However, I just can’t help but think this song is written about singer Greg Attonito’s pet dog or cat… which makes the lyric “I think I’d like to marry her” a little peculiar. But hey, it’s 2012; live how you want to live.
5. The title track “Comet” is right on point too and seems to effortlessly find its mark, exactly what one has come to expect from these guys. A mellow yet rockin’ tune, and catchy as all hell.
6. You can chalk up "We Love Fun" as one more to add to the pile of the boys goofing off, in the vein of “I Like Your Mom”, “Bullying the Jukebox”, “You're So Rad”, “BMX Song” or any number of songs where the ‘Souls appear more concerned with pleasuring themselves than being taken seriously. For me personally, it’s akin to a master like Dali doing paint by numbers piece.
7. I can’t really say anything bad about “Infidel”. Is it a response to 9/11? It’s a b-side, but belongs on the album. Some of the Bouncing Souls' filler songs are better than 99% of other bands "hits".
8. “DFA” is a shining example of what the Souls are capable of. ...killing it and more along the lines of what I expected out of Comet, aged and experienced angst ready to set the fucking world on fire. Plus, there’s a nifty little guitar solo.
9. “In Sleep” immediately slows it down with another mellow easy listening punk song. Who says punks don’t have feelings? Digable, catchy, relaxing, I like it.
10.“Ship in a Bottle” righteously closes the album and is where the ‘Souls really spread their wings. What? it's over already?
While Comet isn’t the ‘Souls strongest album, it’s very much worth a listen or two. With MP3s having changed how we listen to music, I’m sure there are a few tracks that will make it on to your iPod. Maybe I expected too much. I think we can all agree Ghosts on the Boardwalk was nothing short of a masterpiece, but was it the Bouncing Souls opus? Only time will tell. It’s like Mike McColgan once told me “The Bouncing Souls are an institution.” Their legacy is untouchable; their reputation was built long ago and will stand up to any amount of journalistic criticisms. After all, this review ain’t the pinnacle of music journalism, nor is it the most captivating piece I’ve ever penned. I only hope you can forgive me as I forgive the Bouncing Souls for not making the most-awesome-fucking-album-to-ever-grace-the-face-of-this-planet.