The Bouncing Souls
How I Spent My Summer Vacation


4.0
excellent

Review

by Michael Roberts USER (99 Reviews)
April 25th, 2006 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


The Bouncing Souls have been around for quite some time. The NYC and New Jersey pop punk band sure has covered a lot of ground in their career. In a field that can be very difficult to stand out in, they have done just that. Between their vocals, guitar and bass tones, and overall sound, they are quite easy to recognize. How I Spent My Summer Vacation is filled with some of the bands’ most famous songs and the sound they are known for.

The Bouncing Souls…
Greg – Vocals
The Pete – Guitar
Bryan – Bass
Michael – Drums


From the catchy hooks, the ohhh’s, the thumping bass, some fine sounding riffs, and the overall clean production of the record, The Bouncing Souls do what they do darn well. Fast and upbeat songs for the most part, but variety to keep plenty interested. That Song opens the record on a good note with some immediate vocals over guitar. The drums and bass come in and the Soul’s trademark sound is heard. One very distinctive trait about The Bouncing Souls is their bass tone; it is heard very clearly throughout the album. While not always playing the most complicated line, Bryan always seems to know what to do to add that little something to every song and helps to keep everything tight. Some of their very fitting pop punk riffing is shown as the energy stays high throughout the opener. Private Radio opens with a nice little riff and keeps the same energy as the opener. Greg’s vocal delivery is a stand out, his singing and lyrics flow very smoothly. The layered singing on the chorus works great and adds a very nice touch to the song. A little small clean break is heard before the song ends with its fantastic chorus.

True Believers marks one of their more popular songs and with good reason too. A great riff is played after the vocal guitar intro. The lyrics focus on standing up for what you believe.

Well you can fight or you can run
Hide under a rock till the war is won
Play it safe and don't make a sound
But not us we won't back down


The second verse is composed of bass and vocals, working quite effectively with the flow. Filled with the signature ahhhh’s the chorus will be in your head for days. While barely over 2:30, True Believers has a lot to offer. Better Life is a pretty typical song for the genre, but all in all is average at the very least. Michael has some superb fitting rolls placed throughout the song adding a great touch to it.

The Something Special is the first song with a mellower feel to it. The vocals in the intro work great leading into another good chorus. Once again the vocal harmonization works fantastic and adds to a very powerful feeling chorus. The guitar is simple throughout with some nice riff and chord progressions as the focal point of the song is in the vocals.

Broken Record opens softly with vocals and a bass line. The vocal intros are slightly annoying as a result of the over use, but they still are well executed. The ever so famous “ahh’s" are heard loud and clear in the song. Throughout the song the bass is very enjoyable as Bryan shines with his unique tone. Lifetime adds another new touch to the record opening with a nice mellow guitar riff with bass playing some great rhythm over it. Starting off slow the drums quickly build up and this song turns into a burst of energy. The drums pound throughout the verse and mellow out in the pre chorus. The tempo changes are performed very smoothly with the vocals shining on top of them. Ending in typical fashion with the dominant bass and energetic drums the intro guitar riff is repeated as a very enjoyable song comes to a close.

If you ever played a Tony Hawk video game years ago this next track might sound familiar. Manthem comes in typical Jersey punk style, opening with drums and complete with the oi’s chanting through the chorus. The chorus itself is quite a fun sing-a-long.

He's my friend he's my alibi
My accessory to the crime
A bond that will never die
Till the end of time


I believe Pete sings the second verse which adds some great variety to the song. Overall this is a very memorable song about good times and true friendship.

Break-Up Song opens with a very mediocre riff. The rest of the song just does not spark a whole lot, typical Soul’s sound which has been heard throughout the record. A much improved riff is played between verses but overall this song does not have a lot to offer. Thankfully it is very short, ending before the 2 minute mark. Streetlight Serenade comes in with quite a different sound. A soft sounding riff is played with some quiet drums over top. The tempo change is very welcome at this time on the CD, as a mixture of sound types is shown. Unfortunately, it is over before one really completely gets into its groove.

Late Bloomer adds some new elements to the record, including a clean guitar intro which appears multiple times in the song. The verse and chorus format are very similar to the style of the rest of the album for the most part, but The Bouncing Souls have perfected it and know how to create an enjoyable song using their formula. No Comply sounds as if it is going to be filler and does not really venture out a whole lot from its first impression. Once again the guitar riff in between verses is noticeably enjoyable but the rest of the song seems very bland at this point in the record.

As the first notes of Gone are heard, it is official the record is going off on a good note. The intro riff is very enjoyable as are the rolls courtesy of Michael. Between the palm mute pattern of the guitar, the fantastic bass line, and Greg’s vocals, the verses are quite the treat. The drum build up before the chorus works very fluently and an exceptionally memorable chorus is played. Greg’s delivery while repeating gone is just very distinct. When the song goes down to just bass and vocals it is executed and placed absolutely perfectly, creating a great effect leading up to the final chorus. The phaser on the guitar as it fads out is a very cool touch as the album comes to a close.

In a field where it can be difficult to stand out in, The Bouncing Souls seem to do so quite easily. While a bit repetitive a times, How I Spent My Summer Vacation is a very good album that shows some new sounds the band is capable of. As four members, the Souls work excellently together as they shape up some extremely memorable songs.

Pros
- great, distinct vocals
- superior production
- though only 2 axes, bass and guitar teamwork is commendable
- variety in songs is shown
- a very pleasant feel to the record as a whole

Cons
- some very short songs
- can be slightly repetitive at times

While some bands seem to rely on individual talent, a vibe of large amounts of group work with one another is received from this album. At the end of the day, The Bouncing Souls do what they do quite well, and this album shows it.

Final Rating: 4/5



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blacklight67 (4.5)
The Bouncing Souls seemed to truly 'arrive' with this record, and whilst they have released many gre...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Rudd13
April 25th 2006


952 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just listened to this last night. This is their best album by far. Try to go over the music a bit more.This Message Edited On 05.27.06

Dead Star
April 25th 2006


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I've been listening to The Bouncing Souls a lot for a couple of days now, this has got to be my favourite album by them.

Zebra
Moderator
April 25th 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is great, probably the Souls at their best. Good review.

Zesty Mordant
April 25th 2006


1196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review.

I love this album and I'm starting to get into this band alot more lately.

"True Believers" has such a catchy melody.This Message Edited On 04.25.06

Zebra
Moderator
April 26th 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[quote=Rudd]The band's self titled is their best work.[/quote]
Strange, I think that's by far and away their worst album. I just can't get into the songs that are barely over one minute long. I prefer this album simply because the song writing has improved while they can still pull off a lot of catchy riffs.

tom79
October 9th 2006


3372 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. This and some of the new album is all that I've heard by these guys but I'm liking it. Private Radio and True Believers are great.

Digging: Karate - Some Boots

Intransit
November 27th 2006


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This and the new record are tied for my favorite Bouncing Souls record. I'm going to see these guys on the 8th with Street Dogs and Whole Wheat Bread. Should be a kickass show.

Two-Headed Boy
February 6th 2007


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Some good fun music here.

Hambone00
May 31st 2007


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I had heard so much about this album, I was afraid it wasn't going to live up to all the hype...But it surpassed all the hype, this album is amazing

Awesomesauce
July 14th 2010


1084 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is cool as fuck. So simple yet so effective!

EVedder27
September 30th 2010


6088 Comments


album rules

BigHans
October 6th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah its pretty cool my favorite song is Gone

EVedder27
October 6th 2010


6088 Comments


same here

4strings
November 8th 2010


27 Comments


I need to get back into this. Very good.

Spec
May 23rd 2011


27167 Comments


Pretty interesting how the band started off making mediocre punk music but kept going, when most bands would break up. Then made some of the best punk releases i'v ever heard.

Satellite
May 23rd 2011


20813 Comments


they had a pretty huge cult following in joysey even early on. in fact, their s/t epitaph debut was met with a lot of disappointment among said fans.

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

Spec
May 23rd 2011


27167 Comments


Also, their split with Anti-Flag is incredible.

BigHans
May 23rd 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great band havent listened to them in awhile

Spec
May 23rd 2011


27167 Comments


Just purchased their split, so obviously I'm on a Bouncing Souls kick.

Satellite
May 23rd 2011


20813 Comments


their cover of a-f's "that's youth" is rad to the max, as the kids are saying these days



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