Bowling For Soup. You either love them, or you hate them. What's not to like about a band just trying to have a little fun? It's odd that this album sounds nothing like their other albums- back then they were more inspired by punk rock acts such as The Ramones, and Green Day.
Lead singer Jaret Reddick, has stated many times that he has become a way better songwriter on future albums, and on the debut, that they barely knew how to play their instruments. Those remarks might make you look away from this album and never listen to it, but It's worth a listen to those who are fans of the 90's Pop Punk Movement. If you hate the band's songwriting about having fun, drinking, and there overall joking approach to there lyrics, then you'll be really surprised.
Jaret's songwriting is tight and rather mature compared to there later work. "Brooklyn Bridge" is one of the highlights in Bowling For Soup's career when it comes to songwriting, a short song that is a standout track that represents what the band was back in the 90's. The record starts off with a buzz, with the song "Thirteen". A quick opener that will get people on there feet and singing along, not to mention the only track that is included on there Rerecorded Greatest Hits album. A couple O.K. songs later, arrives "Swim". A melodic tune that is a highlight on the album, the catchy chorus and great lyrics fit well with the overall flow of the album. Next is possibly the best guitar riff on the album, "Nebraska". "Sandwich" received some radio airplay at the time of it's release on local stations. Them not cursing on this song, seems to be ironic, because now their work is filled with profanity and funny jokes.
Not to mention bass player Erik Chandler's back up vocals on this song flows well with the lyrics of Jaret's part. "Slurpee" is one of the joking sides to this album, simply about a convenient store dream girl. "Psycho" is where Erik gets his time to shine- It's one of the best songs off this album, and many can relate to the lyrics. "Monopoly" shows Jaret's bitter side, a side to Jaret that we don't see very often, making it another standout track. "London" is a song that is very long and the lyrics show Jaret trying to be creative, but not really knowing where to go with it, leading it to not make much sense. A song that you could totally imagine opening a spy movie though. The album closes with "Oliver", a decent song with great vocals, seeming to carry on a consistent vibe that makes it a great closer. Overall, Bowling For Soup's debut isn't bad for a band making there own records alone in Texas. Improvements could definitely be applied though. An album that many choose to just skip in Bowling For Soup's discography, but cut it some slack and you might end up liking it.