Bouncing Souls: Comet
Comet is the Bouncing Souls‘ ninth album. Not many punk bands can claim to have that longevity and for good reason. Punk is a young person’s game. It is fast, violent, and volatile, and most bands can only contain those elements for so long before flaming out (see Sex Pistols). For anyone who has seen the Bouncing Souls live, you know that despite whatever chaos seems to be going on around him, lead singer Greg Attonito is the definition of cool. The exact opposite of GG Allin, he rarely does more than bob his head on stage and do small hops. However uninterested Attonito seems on stage, his booming voice has never wavered nor failed to draw in the listener. However for the first time in their career, that might be in question.
The album’s lead single, “Static” hardly sounds like Attonito singing. Rather than his usual singing shout of compact syllables, he drawls a bit as if he is trying to be a typical vocalist. While more traditional rock vocals are not necessarily a bad thing, they do lead the album to having a decidedly less punk feel.
Adding to that less punk feel is the band’s song writing in general. “Comet” clocks in at a robust 5:21. Some punk songs may deserve to be five minutes long (NOFX “The Decline” comes to mind), “Comet” is essentially a two minute song stretched to the point of monotony. As if to rebel against this, the band follows “Comet” with “We Love Fun,” a frivolous track in vein of the Souls earlier work like “The Toilet Song.” Unfortunately even with “We Love Fun,” the band overstays their welcome turning a song that hardly deserves a full minute into two-and-a-half. I mean, how many times do we have to hear Attonito sing “we love fun/ we’re going out and having some”?
Although the good material does not balance out the bad, there are a couple of would-be Bouncing Souls classic on the album. “DFA” is an example of two-and-a-half minutes well spent. It is not exactly a lyrical masterpiece (“Down for anything today/So tired of the old way/I will not make a plan/I’m an easy rolling man”) but its fist-pumping chorus is enough to make it an anthem.
Unfortunately, “DFA” is in the minority; lost in a sea of forgettable songs. It seems the band is at a crossroads where they must decide if they are still a punk band because this album lacks the band’s signature energy and instead presents something a more watered down, more mainstream. At the precipices of becoming just another washed up punk band, the Bouncing Souls have a lot to prove on their next album.
MP3: Bouncing Souls “DFA”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl
Bouncing Souls: Comet