by Zac Lomas, edited by Erik van Rheenen
After embedding oneself deep enough into any music scene, you inevitably reach a certain point where you know whether or not someone will like a band based on the pre-existing music they love. For example, if a record is ever advertised “For fans of: Hot Water Music” my ears perk up and I’m usually hooked. This same phenomenon is true of the recent Bouncing Souls and Menzingers split, with the pair of punk stalwarts complementing each other so well stylistically that the transition between sides A and B is almost seamless.
With each band offering an original and a cover, the split’s crossover appeal is undeniable and both bands do not disappoint in their reinterpretations of the other’s work. The Souls inject a shot of adrenaline into “Burn After Writing,” adding their signature upbeat brand of punk to the song’s already hook-riddled chord progression. On the opposite side of the record, The Menzingers adopt the soaring and bouncing musical dynamic of the Bouncing Souls in their reimagining of the Jersey band’s classic “Kate is Great.” However, vocalists Tom May and Greg Barnett add that unique Menzingers twist with their distinctly gruff and baritone voices that make the song their own.
While the covers are nothing short of fun, it is the split’s originals that offer up the real highlight. “Blackout” is the kind of song that fits snuggly into the Souls’ back catalogue, showcasing their natural talent as songwriters with lyrics like, “We take our stance, we make our plans. Our hearts are in good hands!” And if to remind listeners that this was the same old Souls, the song even starts with a string of “whoas.” The Menzingers once again adopt an earnest portrayal of the intersection of humanity and alcohol in “The Shakes,” a theme that permeated their LP On The Impossible Past. Opening with a sizzling guitar lead, “The Shakes” epitomizes The Menzingers’ brand of brash punk rock, culminating in the song’s resonant chorus of “I got the shakes, baby, the sha-a-akes, so what do ya say about me and you? Buy some booze for breakfast too.”
POZ Discussion: Most Anticipated November Releases
November is here, and there are a slew of great records coming out this month that PropertyOfZack team members couldn’t be more stoked to hear. In today’s new Discussion, we’re highlighting our personal Most Anticipated November Releases. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with what you’re looking forward to as well
Punk Goes Christmas (11/05)
It’s kind of shocking that Punk Goes Christmas hasn’t happened until now; there’s a long tradition of punk bands doing Christmas tunes that goes as far back as the Ramones. Christmas tunes are usually some mix of goofy and sentimental, two moods that punk bands tend to excel at, and over the past decade, it seems like nearly every scene band of note has taken a crack at writing one (or covering a classic). We’ve even made it a yearly tradition here at POZ to review our favorites on Christmas Day.
The lineup contributing to Punk Goes Christmas’s tracklist nicely pulls together the ghosts of pop-punk past, present and future to join in the caroling gang chorus, from old guard favorites like New Found Glory and Yellowcard to young upstarts Real Friends. Notably, Fearless have pared back on the screamo /metalcore / heavy music acts that have dominated the last few Punk Goes… releases, and one of the few included here, Issues, has seen frontman Tyler Carter make a bit of a splash in the past few years with Christmas tracks under his own name. If the album proves anywhere near as solid as its track list (and let’s face it, Christmas songs really only come in two varieties, good and great), we’re in for some early holiday goodies. - Jesse Richman
A Wilhelm Scream - Partycrasher (11/05)
November is apparently a banner month for punk albums, possibly none quite as important as A Wilhelm Scream’s aptly named hiatus-shattering record, Partycrasher. Six years removed from a studio effort, the band proved its legacy in the genre on the new album with eleven searing, scathing, sneering new cuts. Still brash and angry like the best of A Wilhelm Scream’s back catalog, the band only adds polish since taking a leave of disappearance — not rust. - Erik van Rheenen
The Bouncing Souls, The Menzingers - Split
During a way-too-early conversation regarding AOTY candidates, I jokingly mentioned to a friend that my top spot was currently occupied by The Menzingers’ On the Impossible Past, since no album from 2013 captured my heart and headphones the way that bottle rocket of a record did a year ago. Having to wait for next year for a new full-length from the band verges on cruel-and-unusual punishment, but a split 7” between The Menzingers and punk elder statesmen The Bouncing Souls should be a firecracker in its own right. Featuring a new cut and a cover from each, a lighthearted Souls take on powerhouse “Burn After Reading” and The Menzingers’ spin on “Kate is Great” is the only punk-goes-something we need this year. - Erik van Rheenen
Anthony Green - Young Legs (11/12)
I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what the birth of Anthony Green’s children was going to mean for his musical productivity, be it through his solo work or his main act, Circa Survive. But here we are at just about two years since the birth of his second son, Luke, and Green is about to release Young Legs, his second solo album in as many years (which brings his release count to three since 2012 began, when you account for Circa’s Violent Waves).
Green’s solo work has always been much more mellow and light-hearted than the atmospheric, aggressive blend that Circa has become known for. Young Legs will bring about an interesting sound, as he is now identifying his solo work as Anthony Green and the Good Old Band, which will feature the entire trio that comprises Good Old War, along with a familiar face in Circa Survive guitarist Brendan Ekstrom. In terms of sound, it should be noted that Green recorded this album shortly after completing work on his last solo effort Beautiful Things, so it will be very interesting to see how the two records compare to one another. No matter what it sounds like, it’s a safe bet that plenty of people will be listening to the new songs from the scene’s favorite family man. - Donald Wagenblast
Matt Pryor - Wrist Slitter (11/12)
Matt Pryor has always been prolific — between the Get Up Kids, the New Amsterdams, albums released under his own name, his Terrible Twos children’s music project, and his newest band, Lasorda, Pryor’s been averaging better than an album a year for the last decade, most with the kind of hit-or-miss rate you might expect from someone cranking out songs as fast as he can go.
The supporting bands for each day of The Bouncing Souls' seventh annual Home For The Holidays have been announced. Check out details below after the jump.
The Bouncing Souls Tap George Rebelo (HWM,) As New Drummer
The Bouncing Souls' seventh annual Home For The Holidays will be kicking off on December 26th. Check out a poster and on sale information below after the jump.
The Bouncing Souls Tap George Rebelo (HWM,) As New Drummer
The Bouncing Souls have welcomed in George Rebelo in as their new drummer. Rebelo is also a member of Hot Water Music and has also played in Against Me! Check out a picture of the new lineup below after the jump.
The Menzingers, The Bouncing Souls Announce Split 7”
The Bouncing Souls will be revealing their new drummer tonight at a very intimate show at Asbury Lanes. check out details below after the jump.
The Menzingers, The Bouncing Souls Announce Split 7”
The 2013 Tsunami Fest will feature The Bouncing Souls, Man Overboard, The Menzingers, and more. Check out all the details below after the jump.
The Gaslight Anthem is no longer a secret in any part of the music scene. With the leap from indie to major record label and the success of their latest release, Handwritten, it was obvious that they had to return to Cleveland for the first time in three years on this mini-tour with punk legends The Bouncing Souls.
Cory Branan opened the show with a little taste of what was to come the rest of the night. He played some acoustic rock songs with some punk mentality and did a very good job. An acoustic act never usually works with a sold out show, playing to a crowd that’s mostly there for the headliner. It was hard to hear Branan over the sound of the crowd talking, but he still played through the talking and gained what seemed to be a pretty large handful of fans that were walking around with his LP after the show.
The Bouncing Souls took the stage to their big sing-along and fan favorite “Kids and Heroes,” setting off a fairly mild crowd compared to their last chaotic show in Cleveland. The Souls sounded better than ever as they played through mostly a greatest hits set, leaving most of the punk songs out of the set, as they tried to reel in the alternative rockers that were there to see Gaslight. Standouts included the anthem “True Believers” and when Greg came down to sing “Hopeless Romantic” with the whole crowd.
Brian Fallon even got to be a fanboy with The Souls: he came out and did a duet for “Say Anything” with Greg. It was a very awesome way for Brian to wish The Souls farewell on their last date of the tour together. They closed their set with “Ship In a Bottle,” while Greg explained that the song was about all 24 years of the band put into a single song.
The Gaslight Anthem has been skipping over Cleveland on their last few tours, so the sold-out crowd was more ready than ever when the band came out ready to blow everyone away. They opened with their new hit “Howl,” and continued with a fairly large set containing mostly Handwritten and The 59 Sound. The band sounded amazing with their new addition to the band: Ian, part of The Horrible Crowes.
The Bouncing Souls have been around for 23 years: that’s a long time for any band to constantly tour and record music. After playing thousands of shows, releasing eight full lengths and creating their own label, The Bouncing Souls prove that they are still the best band in punk rock with their ninth album, and Rise Records debut, Comet.
Comet is a big step up from The Bouncing Souls last two albums The Gold Record and Ghosts on The Boardwalk. The record sounds crisp and clean, somewhat of a new sound of recording for The Bouncing Souls but it definitely works in their favor. Opening with a blaze of punk “Baptized” shows The Bouncing Souls doing what they’re best at, playing fast.
“Fast Times” is one of the best songs on the record because it has a little bit of something for every fan of The Bouncing Souls to enjoy. A little slower then their older sound but picks up the pace perfectly. Up next is the first single from the album, “Static.” The song makes sense as a single due to its fast punk sound and angry lyrics. “The static fuzz from talking heads across airwaves for walking dead. Over saturation, so much emptiness.” The buildup near the end shows that The Bouncing Souls still have it.
“Coin Toss Girl” is another standout on the album. The song shows The Bouncing Souls on more of a rock and roll side. They even throw in a riff very similar to something that would come off of a Bruce Springsteen song. It’s extremely catchy and is one of the songs that you will want to listen to again after you get through the rest of the album.
“Comet” is a good central theme for the album and closes out on over a minute of instrumentals creating a great break in between side A and side B of the vinyl version of the album. “We Love Fun” is The Bouncing Souls typical joke song that they put on all of they’re records. While the song has pretty cringe-worthy lyrics, it’s hard not to enjoy.
“Infidel” is a short punk song reminiscent of The Bouncing Souls early material, and “DFA” is the only song that is actually bad on the album. The Souls return back to the cringe worthy lyrics but without the sense of fun. “I just got diagnosed today, the doctor told me I’m DFA. I’ve got the fever I’m DFA; there is no cure I’m DFA. Down For Anything.” It actually might be the worst Bouncing Souls song ever released.