Ghosts On The Boardwalk review by The Bouncing Souls

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  • Released: Jan 12, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (11 votes)
The Bouncing Souls: Ghosts On The Boardwalk

Sound — 8
A twenty year career is impressive. A twenty year career as a punk band is very impressive. A 20 year career as a punk band having suffered only one lineup change is simply astounding, but that's The Bouncing Souls. Having spent a career building up an incredibly tight-knit network of fans, friends and family through their innate likeability and timeless anthems, the Souls are celebrating, once again, through music. In 2009 they put out a new tune every month, and Ghosts On The Boardwalk' is a rearrangement of all twelve songs into a more traditional album package. For many, the seminal How I Spent My Summer Vacation' cemented the Bouncing Souls as a band that act as a friend that's always there to keep your spirits up, and having a fresh instalment of New Jersey punk every month only enhanced that feeling thing is, it's not all power chords and jangly Bryan Kienlen basslines. In the past, their softer songs have been at best digressional but Ghosts On The Boardwalk' does the whole under 200bpm' thing far more effectively. Led by Pete Steinkopf's guitars simple, and totally in control - laid back rock tunes come close to dominating affairs, delivering hook after hook in Boogie Woogie Downtown' and single Airport Security', among others. But worry not, true believers! Mike McDermott would probably disintegrate if he went an entire album without thrashing out a Souls classic, so his perfectly produced drums return in 2010 with Gasoline' a barnstorm of a song that channels the Manthem' spirit excellently; he goes from strength to strength from there on in. Mike's finest moment, though, is on the title track, where his thunderous toms signal the shift from the verse to the chorus and with it the shift from mere cheeriness to Hakuna Matata' levels of bliss. That's where The Bouncing Souls have always excelled, and the punk arsenal here is bolstered by big choruses that will go on to join the greats.

Lyrics — 8
Maybe it wasn't their best idea to release Badass' as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations, because the audience is consequently aware that the band members must all be at least 30-something, and are still making songs about your mom'. But you've gotta love it, deep down. Besides that particular excursion into the...badass, the songs deal with life, love and philosophy - conveyed naturally through Greg Attonito's affable vocals, of course. Particular highlights are Dubs Says True' and We All Sing Along', which, on original release, lit up the dreary months of February and March with classic Bouncing Souls optimism and have a similar effect almost a year on.

Overall Impression — 9
It'd be fair to presume that a band who are this far into their career and starting to tone things down a little might be on their last legs, but the abrasive Never Say Die' is (...unsurprisingly) not the last little bit of punk being wheezed out before things start to simmer down. Even Like The Sun', which sounds dangerously like U2 at times, keeps a hold on that spirit which has always been at the centre of a good Bouncing Souls record. Ghosts On The Boardwalk' is their most solid effort since ...Summer Vacation', so grab a copy, put it on and let's pretend we're from New Jersey!

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Private Eye
    Good review, really well done. Being from New Jersey, I love the Bouncing Souls. Not sure if this is their best, but it's definitely up there
    I love the bouncing souls they have a real fun feel to them i want to hear this album now it sounds good
    hb15577 wrote: I love the bouncing souls they have a real fun feel to them i want to hear this album now it sounds good
    Wonder if this is as good as The Gold Record. Now that's a quality album
    @Zell182: Not as good, but not bad either. Summer Vacation will always be my favorite from these guys. Saw them on the last tour, it was so great.
    WHOO i love the souls. How i spent my summer vacation is the best
    Ever since I got Anchors Aweigh I've loved em. this album is no exception, Long Live The Souls!