Bouncing Souls - Anchors Aweigh (Cover Artwork)

Bouncing Souls

Bouncing Souls: Anchors AweighAnchors Aweigh (2003)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I suppose the best way to begin a review of the Bouncing Souls' latest record "Anchors Aweigh" is to describe my recent experience at a Souls show here in Toronto. Unlike many of the shows I've been to in the past few years, the one thing that stood out about the show, besides the honest, positive.
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I suppose the best way to begin a review of the Bouncing Souls' latest record "Anchors Aweigh" is to describe my recent experience at a Souls show here in Toronto. Unlike many of the shows I've been to in the past few years, the one thing that stood out about the show, besides the honest, positive vibe of the band, was the crowd they attracted.

A healthy mix of gutter punks, mohawked and suspendered folks with Sex Pistols T-shirts, sorority girls and skateboarders; what struck me was the completely unifying spirit that the band brought out.

Even though genres and bands have segmented and divided the punk scene into cliques and elitists and people who stare at their shoes and smirk at the Fat and Epitaph bands, the Bouncing Souls seem to exist in a vacuum where none of that had ever happened.

Like they were live, their records are honest, neither musically challenged, nor overwhelmingly technical. Simple punk rock songs like the kind bands played before the Warped Tour; before major labels even cared about our scene.

So, while "Anchors Aweigh" does show a new side of the Souls, at it's core, it's still a bunch of friends who clearly play this music because it moves them, not because it moves records.

As it happens, Anchors is a new kind of record for the Souls; it is, as the cliched reviewer term goes "a maturing." A darker side of the Souls has definitely come out, but it's still as interesting and exciting as songs about riding a BMX.

If you've never heard the Souls before, they're best described as a return-to-the-roots band. A core of three chord songs, vocals that hover between a shouting and singing, and big loud drums. On "Anchors..." they've turned down the shout a little, and slowed down a wee bit, but they never lose sight of what brings us out.

Clearly, the influence of world events is weighing heavily on the band, and their is a distinct darkness to the record, but rather than bringing you down, the Souls balance every dark moment with an air of hope.

Starting out with Apartment 5F, a quintessential Souls track, with the loud guitars and hyper speed rhythm section, you would be forgiven if you were expecting a normal record; but as the record progresses to Kids and Heroes, the boys start dabbling with a accutely more mellow side. (That is to say, punk rock mellow, not acoustic crybaby mellow)

Over the next fourteen tracks, the band pulls off early Green Day-ish pop-punk with "New Day, straight up anthemic punk rock on Born Free, graceful Bruce Springsteen references on Simple Man, and The Day I Turned My Back on You and ends on a sad, but hopeful note with the ode to friendship I'm From There.

It truly is a question of luck, or talent when a band branches out like this; will they alienate their long-time fans, will they lose steam, or will they succeed and reach a new audience while pleasing the guys who have been their from the beginning.

As someone who reviewed Manical Laughter for a high school 'zine, and loved them ever since, I feel that I can safely say, that they pulled it off.


People who liked this also liked:
Bouncing Souls - The Gold RecordBouncing Souls - How I Spent My Summer VacationOperation Ivy - Operation IvyThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Bouncing Souls - Hopeless RomanticAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyNOFX - The DeclineThe Clash - London CallingDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl Rose

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Banger (December 3, 2008)

I've been a Bouncing Souls fan since The Good, The Bad & The Argyle, and in my opinion this is their best album. I'm listening to it as I type this and I am being blown away yet again at just how good it is.

14theroad (April 22, 2008)

Greatest record ever.

punkindrublictjc (November 3, 2006)

Not a fault with this album. True it is different to early Souls album's, but they are maturing as people and songwriters and it shows. Lyrically brilliant and musically moving this album is one to put on in the car, drive and lose yourself in the music. Love it.

Anonymous (April 5, 2006)

The only reason people dont think this is as fast as old bouncing souls is because most people judge them on their post manaical laughter or even post self titled material, does any one remember the good the bad and the argyle, not that fast, and probably not what most people think of when they think of the souls but this as well as how i spent my summer vacation brought back of the old souls vibe that i miss from my youth.

PacePicante (March 25, 2006)

THis CD slows down a little and I dont like it as much
Souls are still good
Ive never been to a Souls show
I really wanna go

liveinadive55 (October 14, 2005)

this is a great record. it may not be as fast as their old stuff, but sometimes its a good idea to slow down the tempo.

GlassPipeMurder (September 30, 2005)

Score is for the title track being short and absolutely beautiful.

Anonymous (July 14, 2005)

very good review except for the mention of vocals that go between shouting and singing...that sells the vocalist of this band short IMMENSELY...this guy is one of the most talented singers around right now...also missing were any mention of the songs "Night Train" or "Anchors Aweigh" which very much embody the "maturing" you were talking about and are very high up on the list of best Bouncing Souls songs ever

Anonymous (May 29, 2005)

The day i turned my abck on you gives me chills

joeg (November 8, 2004)

the souls dropped the ball on this one. its been a trend the last 2 records. the songs just don't jump out at you likely they normally do and have that same bite.

callmemaster (July 8, 2004)

This is such a great album...I can't even describe how much it moves me everytime I listen to it ! "how I spent my summer vacation" was and still is one of my favorite albums that I didn't think they could surpass....but they have proved me wrong with this album. I can't agree with the reviewer more. Great review !

Anonymous (May 2, 2004)

Great record.

Anonymous (March 14, 2004)

Don't know an awful lot about the souls, seen them a couple of times, so when I saw this record going cheap thought I'd I buy it.

Well, well worth the money paid....... "Sing along forever", "Simple man", and "I get lost" are all great songs.

Seems like some fans expect the same old material. Such expectations leading to bands like Strung Out getting a stupidly harsh time recently despite making ground breaking music.

Yeah, this may be different to the olds souls, but I'll just say I love "Highway Kings". Such a good song.

MattHomeslice (November 15, 2003)

Nice review. Another great album by the Souls, I just love their harmonies.

Anonymous (September 12, 2003)

As a life-long Souls fan, I'm way disappointed in this CD so far. Its like the band has lost its charm. this is not the same band and I miss them so much. Maybe I'll write an alternative review...


Anonymous (September 1, 2003)

i loved them from their first album to how i spent my summer vacation....the songs are still good but something is missing..maybe the energy...their weakes alb so far in my opinion..its not matur cos maturing does not at any means say you have to get boring and lose your energy

Anonymous (August 31, 2003)

If you listen to the albumn, it is the most solid and deepest albumn they've ever put out, it has a deep message.

Anonymous (August 31, 2003)

As a Souls fan, I have to be completely honest this CD is pretty dull.

Save your cash and buy the Souls DVD instead, It's great!

Anonymous (August 30, 2003)

apathy and exhastion is amazing. thanks for giving me props on comment of the day sickboi, although u have to take my word for it that it was me. this album is still just ok.

Anonymous (August 30, 2003)

This makes me want to scarf down some Fish & Chips!!! I heard the drummer dresses up like Captain Hook!

Anonymous (August 30, 2003)

Listening to this record made me choke up. The heart that the souls put into their music and the apparent love of playing their songs...I hope that one day my kids will be listening to this when they listen to "Old-School Punk". Only other album that brought me close to tears was Apathy and Exhaustion. Despite all of this, I still miss the less dark (not the word I'm looking for) sound

Kevin11 (August 30, 2003)

Great record. I'd just like to point out that Andrew WK is going to be a clerk for the day at my local record store the day he comes on tour. Amazing, I'm gonna make him get me like 10 cds and tell him it's on Island.

sickboi (August 29, 2003)

"bright eyes fucking suck, anyone who opens their album w/ an 8 minute long, directionless off key low fi acoustic track is an asshole, a pretentous art fart asshole."

Comment of the day award.

Anonymous (August 29, 2003)

What are the Bruce Springsteen references on "Simple Man" and what songs are they from ???

Anonymous (August 29, 2003)

bright eyes fucking suck, anyone who opens their album w/ an 8 minute long, directionless off key low fi acoustic track is an asshole, a pretentous art fart asshole.

Anonymous (August 29, 2003)

its ok, not bad, not as good as 'how i spent my summer vacation' but good. only a couple duds, but only a few really good ones

Anonymous (August 29, 2003)

this cd fukcing rocks go get it if you don't got it mother fuckers

Anonymous (August 29, 2003)

no death to pirate punk! but half-assed attempts like this, you're either pillaging or you're getting pillaged, you better make up your mind boys!

Anonymous (August 29, 2003)

Someone wake me up when this poor excuse for a punk rock record is over...

Death to Pirate Punk!

NOFXPunkLTJ22 (August 29, 2003)

Someone review, streetlight manifesto.

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

i have to admit that this is a great cd. while i've never quite been able to get into the souls too much, i've always enjoyed listening to them from time to time. this one definitely is my favorite so far (although i haven't heard anything pre-s/t), and it shows a definite improvement over past albums. i think the thing that i enjoy most on this cd more than past ones is in its variety; the tempo and sound fluctuates to keep the flow of the cd from becoming monotonous, while still maintaining that classic souls energy and fun.


FortyMInutesWest (August 28, 2003)

"To the Bright Eyes fans: I'm sorry, I just find Conner and his whole shtick incredibly annoying. He is arguably a talented songwriter, and I can tolerate some of the songs from "Fevers and Mirrors", but as a whole, it's so self-absorbed and pretentious that it drives me to the point of insanity. "

Aubin is my hero.

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

Ya! At least Streetlight Manifesto is getting something on this site. Fucking amazing cd. Definitly tied for best cd of the year, with, of course, Less Than Jake.


Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

I've ordered the dvd of interpunk... cant wait!!! 6 hours of shit and over 50 live shows shot!!! WHOOOOPPP... yeah and the souls rock new album is ok... ima give it a few more listens to i decide on it - which is weird cause summer vacation blew me away first listen.

TheOneTrueBill (August 28, 2003)

The Souls and Voodoo will be doing the Ahoy Matey tour spring 2004!

And tell me what the fuck is wrong with that? I'd be ecstatic if that was real.

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

Does anyone know if Glue Records is still around? I need to replace my Souls/Weston 7" and can not find any indication the label is still around. Any info?


Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

agreed, though i'm a big fan of half of hopeless romantic as well. this band is fun.

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

best album is Maniacal Laughter

but best song is KATE IS GREAT.

and get the DVD too. it is awesome.

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

i think the pirate thing is stunningly dead-on for a joke, just look at the bands that have released pirate/sea-related albums in the past few years... mad caddies, glow skulls, down by law, and now the souls. what does each album say? "hi, i'm fun, but all of the best work this band has done is behind me. cheers!"

-el vaquero
when you're on painkillers, the albums really do talk

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

this album is fuckin' terrific.

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

i agree that the only to truly fall in love with the souls music is to go see them live. the music is nothing groundbreaking but the thought of being in a room with with 2000 other kids who know all the words and watching greg dance is just siiick. go to a show they rock.

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

being a fan of the souls for a long time, i really understand and appreciate the direction this record went. i don't think it's as solid all the way through as some of the other records they put out, but i think that's because every song sounds different. they tried alot of new stuff and that is cool. when you're as real as the bouncing souls it's impossible to make a bad record. definitely one of the albums of the year in my opinion.

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

How the fuck is this a pirate album? Have you even listened to it...I don't think you guys realize what the Souls are all about. If you were expecting something technical and groundbreaking you're in the wrong place...but for what it is (a party album with a positive outlook) it is perfect...

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

As a band when you resort to putting out a pirate album you know within your heart, that your career has peaked.

The Souls are jumping the shark with this one!

The Souls and Voodoo will be doing the Ahoy Matey tour spring 2004!

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

After listening to the album stream,
(this seems like the only way Epitaph promotes bands these days).
I'd have to say "Anchors Aweigh"
is a bit on the boring side.

I'll pass on picking this one up and buy the new Rancid instead.

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

the Souls albums are never amazing or super exciting stuff, they are just nice simple fun. to really enjoy the Souls you have to go to a show and sing along with everyone else.

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

Without a doubt the best punk rock act of our time. These guys will be legendary. However, I think this album is missing something. Summer Vacation was without a doubt their best overall album from start to finish. This cd does not have the same vibe as the previous 3 albums. The songs do not have their own identity like they do on previous efforts. It's still a great album but I'll sum it up this way...it took me 3 listens to like this cd where as it took me 1 listen to LOVE their past albums.

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

what these two fellows are saying is exactly what i felt while listening to how i spent my summer vacation, just doesn't grab me, but kids and heroes is a really cool song

-el vaquero

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

The Souls have created yet another generic typical Bouncing Souls release.

While a stellar live band, I would save my cash and not buy a copy of Anchors Aweigh!

That shit put my crusty ass to sleep!

Anonymous (August 27, 2003)

Always will be a 'Souls fan, but this record didn't do a whole lot for me. I've listened to it several times, but it never seems to leap out. Still fun, still solid... just nothing exceptional.

BeaArthur (August 27, 2003)

Oh, wait. I could. That whole 15 thing. Sorry.

BeaArthur (August 27, 2003)

Will they ever put out another great album? They were my favorite band when I was 15. Their final decent release was that live album they put out. Buy their s/t album if you are going to listen to them, but avoid anything post tie one on...

I couldn't agree more.

Anonymous (August 27, 2003)

In the DVD someone asked "what is the best souls album?" and the answer was "the next one" and thats so true...I really believe these guys just mature and grow and get better with every release. Any longtime fan of the band, who isnt an elitist superpunk, can easily see this evolution. To say Maniacal Laughter is better than this is laughable... - bigjerk

aubin (August 27, 2003)

I'm just going to respond to a few points:

To Ma Ra Ra John: You're debating semantics; a community and a scene can be used interchangeably, or seperately. If you change the meanings of words you can argue almost anything. I don't like Bush either, but that's not the point.

To Anonymous: To the guy complaining that his review wasn't posted; our rule is that we don't post reviews early; it's in the Frequent Questions.

To the Bright Eyes fans: I'm sorry, I just find Conner and his whole shtick incredibly annoying. He is arguably a talented songwriter, and I can tolerate some of the songs from "Fevers and Mirrors", but as a whole, it's so self-absorbed and pretentious that it drives me to the point of insanity.

To sickboi: I love you too. Don't ever change.

Anonymous (August 27, 2003)

I to got the dvd. I read a review for it in a fat music mag. They said that their dvd set the standard for bands making dvd's about themselves. I never agreed 100% on a review before, but i had to w/ that one. Oh yes, pick up that mag. Fat music(something like that) cuz it's really good.

Anonymous (August 27, 2003)

To the guy from "VAH-Beach" below:

Email me the info, I'd love to see Let It Burn again....



Anonymous (August 27, 2003)

Quit labeling punk as a scene; it is a community. The difference is a community facilitates independent thought and dissent against a culture that depends on cell-phones, reality television, and unjustified war. Communities disseminate information, news, and knowledge through various formats: music, art, and entertainment. Communities are relevant. Scenes are selfishly motivated: used as a dating service to meet people. There is nothing relevant--aside from satisfying one's own libido--about going to a show and staring at a cute girl wearing an Against Me! T-shirt with your friends. Scenes are for part-timers looking for a subculture to belong to. At the end of the day, scenesters plug themselves into Instant Messanger or Friendster, laugh and smile while staring at their computer screens, and sleep well. Punk scenes are complacent are irrelevant.

Punk communities are angry and we give a damn. Our goal is cultural upheaval.

Don't let GW get re-elected. Register to vote.

--Ma Ra Ra John

tenderbransonx (August 27, 2003)

I love night train. Am I the only one that thinks this song is great?

unconcerned (August 27, 2003)

The Bouncing Souls have been around long enough to know better than to put out a pirate album...

Will they ever put out another great album? They were my favorite band when I was 15. Their final decent release was that live album they put out. Buy their s/t album if you are going to listen to them, but avoid anything post tie one on...

Anonymous (August 27, 2003)

How the fuck can you say that this album isn't fun? Seriously the is one of the best party albums of the year...anyways, am I the only one who has seen the DVD???

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

It's no Maniacal Laughter but I will always love the souls no matter how popular they get!

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

This albumn is boring, not good, not fun, not anything special. Not even a top 10 of the year contender. Id also like to add i wrote a review for this about 2 and a half months ago and my review isnt up first? whats the deal? This CD is just better than average. Thank god they took Strike Anywhere on tour with them and their other CDs are good otherwise touring w/ this CD would be a problem. BORING!!

SockMonkeyRiot (August 26, 2003)

I was going to get this but it was 14.99 at Best Buy, and then I went home.

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

great album. I can't wait to see these new songs live.

Attention Sickboi...from what I've gathered from your comments on this site, I believe your a VA resident. If you happen to be a fan of Let It Burn, I am doing an off-tour show for them on Oct.26th, the day before they play the Norva in Norfolk, VA with the Bouncing Souls/Strike Anywhere/Tsunami Bomb.

The place is located at 1365 VA Beach Blvd, in VA Beach, the venue is called Uncle Huby's.

I'll have some more info on pheer in a few weeks.

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

why yes, the new Streetlight Manifesto cd is great. And yes i am thinking that it will be the best ska release of the year.
Hate, Jesus

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

great review!! I LOVE The Bouncing Souls.

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

I bought this album today along with the DVD. Honestly, everyone needs to see the documentary on this DVD, regardless of if you are a fan or not. It made me respect the band so much more than I already did. Very well done documentary...Kick ass album too.

Eddie (August 26, 2003)

I love your opening comments, Aubin. I'd also include The Living End in there. They don't seem to divide the punk scene at all, either.

SockMonkeyRiot (August 26, 2003)

Where is the Streetlight Manifesto review?

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

HAhahA these dudes suck. I'm excited 'bout the new bright eyes.

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

I can't wait to pick this one up. Just saw the Bouncing Souls/Hot Water Music/Forgotten/Worthless United show the other night, and it was nothing short of amazing. I've seen hundreds of shows in my day, and this one definately took the cake. As the Bouncing Souls put it "Welcome to the best night ever!!" Almost 50 percent of the Souls set had someone or another (usually more than one person) from one of the other bands either singing along, or quite often playing an instrument. Fight To Live had everyone on stage - the Forgotten, Worthless United, HWM, each and every one of them chanting "Tonite we're alone and the music is right. Tonight! Do you feel good, do you feel alright, tonight!" It was absolute fucking chaos. I've never seen a group of bands get along so well, and join in one big set of singalongs like that before. Not to mention the Souls played a couple songs with HWM earlier in the night too. God damn it was an awesome night...


Mr_Pink (August 26, 2003)


Just Kidding!

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

One thing I love about the Souls is you never hear bad comments about them. You never hear comments about them selling out or not caring about there fans.

The Bouncing Souls is Music...Plain and Simple andt the best.

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

yea, i noticed the similarity of simple man and night on earth too, i bet it was intentional.

and this album just may be their best to date, and that's saying a lot

i-type-poorly (August 26, 2003)

i listened to three songs before i pulled up to the next neerest record store to buy the new Streetlight Manifesto cd. But those first three songs, escpecially the last of them, kicked my ass.

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

oops, 'crybabies' wasn't referring to the souls

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

damn crybabies.

and i cant wait till these guys come to town.

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

this album is the shit.

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

Kickass review. I must get this cd.


Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

i like this record for over 2 months already and i believe this goes the same direction as "how i spent..." but a little more personal and the music really takes into their world. i like the opener "apartment 5F" (i had knew a person who lived in 5F before). better days, sing along forever, and the day i turned my back on you are all fucking great songs. this album makes me want to attend their record release shoe even more.


TheOneTrueBill (August 26, 2003)

I'm on my way to get it right now. I'm more excited about this than almost every release so far.

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

Oh, "Highway Kings" rules, and is it me or does the guitar solo/bridge in "Simple Man" sound almost identical to the one in "Night On Earth"?


Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

Bright Eyes is fucking whiny, crybaby poppycock. I love Aubin more and more everyday.

(in a PLATONIC way)

dignin (August 26, 2003)

that bright eyes cd isnt even that acoustic or crybaby, your joke would have worked better if you linked the Letting off the Happiness album, or any DC

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

hey now, bright eyes is a good band
so are the souls. great live show...i can't wait to see them again this october, not to mention the killer opening bands

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

These guys just keep getting better with each album they put out..... Fucking brilliant-oldpunker-

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

lol i like the bright eyes link

Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

i love this band and i love this album

musical-monkey (August 26, 2003)

Never really listened to the Bouncing Souls before but I heard the ecard on the Epitaph site and it's pretty damn good.

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