Bouncing Souls - Ghosts on the Boardwalk (Cover Artwork)

Bouncing Souls

Bouncing Souls: Ghosts on the BoardwalkGhosts on the Boardwalk (2010)
Chunksaah Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
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Contributed by: SloaneDaleySloaneDaley
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"Gasoline," the opening song to the Bouncing Souls' 20th anniversary LP/collection, Ghosts on the Boardwalk, starts with the lyrics, "Sex and violence has lost its charm / I need something to amuse / War is boring, it's not enough / I need a shock down to my shoes / Pedophile lust, tortured blood in.
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"Gasoline," the opening song to the Bouncing Souls' 20th anniversary LP/collection, Ghosts on the Boardwalk, starts with the lyrics, "Sex and violence has lost its charm / I need something to amuse / War is boring, it's not enough / I need a shock down to my shoes / Pedophile lust, tortured blood in the dust / take all you can/ As long as it's on a TV screen/ Keep it away from my house, man." While 2006's The Gold Record was a poignant snapshot of living in a world of Bush-era politics, "Gasoline" eloquently conveys a shared desire to move beyond the empty propagation of fear that still goes on in the media and rhetoric of today. While the Souls have always been known for the reflection and reminiscing, Ghosts on the Boardwalk isn't anywhere close to a complete departure from this, but the idea of mentally, emotionally and physically moving on is a prominent theme explored in many of the songs collected here.

If you are familiar with the Souls' brand of bright pop-punk, nothing should come as too surprising or out of place. There is even a few songs like "When You're Young" and "Badass" that sound like the fast-paced punk of their earliest records. Unlike the classic material found on albums like The Good, The Bad, And the Argyle and Maniacal Laughter, these songs come off a bit uninspired. Minor songwriting touches, like the hand-claps on "I Think That the World...," the harmonica in "Mental Bits" and the organ on "Like the Sun" show a further embrace of the straight-up power-pop approach that has found its way into the Souls' repertoire on their last couple of albums, proving to be one of their real strengths. Ghosts on the Boardwalk really picks up with summery upstrokes in the aforementioned "Mental Bits," which might remind you of the pseudo-reggae sing-along of Swingin' Utters' "Catastrophe." The acoustic-driven "Big Eyes" is a hopeful number that finds the Souls at their poppiest, with shuffling rhythm and country-inspired guitar parts -- a possible reflection of where the band might be headed.

It is understandable that for their 20th anniversary the band would want to make something representative of their entire catalogue. At the very least, the Souls are successful in doing that, giving a sampling of everything from the fast SoCal-influenced punk of their early days, the crunchy mid-paced pop-punk anthems of the middle of their career and their newer increased debt to pop. The songwriting isn't always 100% on point, and the album is somewhat bottom-heavy, but if you like the band, it is full of the same relatable lyrics, catchy guitar lines and anthemic choruses. Still, the Souls give a respectable example of a pop-punk band that can age gracefully.


People who liked this also liked:
Bouncing Souls - The Gold RecordBouncing Souls - How I Spent My Summer VacationThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundOperation Ivy - Operation IvyBouncing Souls - Anchors AweighThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!

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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.
ak3punk (October 16, 2012)

This album is fantastic, can't get enough!

OfCourse (October 21, 2010)

The Souls freaking killed it with this one. but I only kind of liked the year-long slow release of these songs over the year. Too much anticipation... Check out this interview with the drummer...seems like a rad guy...AND the singer's got some doodlin' skills: http://www.theinertia.com/music-art/interview-the-bouncing-souls/

slymer (April 30, 2010)

I highly enjoy this album. I thought the Gold Record was a fine album as well.

forfuksake (March 12, 2010)

This record is terrible and I am pretty big souls fan ...I tried to like it but its crap..Im done trying. This one is coming off the player

danpib08 (January 14, 2010)

It'ss been totally downhill for the Souls since the Gold Record, Anchors Aweigh was soooo good but they have sucked since. I have seen them way too many times and am totally over this band. Time to bow out gracefully rather than continuing on.

chipsahoycookie (January 14, 2010)

I love the Bouncing Souls. I wanted to like this collection of songs so much, but they just don't do it for me. Seemed like they really started going downhill with The Gold Record (even though it's alright). It sounds pretty uninspired and it sounds like the singer thinks he's like Bono all of the sudden. I hate "The Messenger" on the last record and a lot of these songs remind me of that.

With that said, there's some great songs on here like "Dubs Says True" and "Ghosts on the Boardwalk (which the producer helped write=lame)" There's a bunch of filler on here and nothing that strikes me as anything great. Not much I completely hate, just nothing that gets me excited at all on here.

In conclusion, 2 great songs, 8 filler songs, and 2 horrid songs. Easily the worst Bouncing Souls album.

souls21 (January 13, 2010)

As a huge fan of the bouncing souls, I can say that i actually really like this collection of songs. Firstly, I think they work better as monthly singles than a full record. Releasing one per month lets you digest the song and really enjoy it. While people who just buy the CD will probably find themselves skipping tracks looks for the next "true believers". These are some of the best written songs the souls have ever done. My only complaint is the lack of speed. Anchors is my favorite album by them and that just tears through you until the end for the most part. My favorites include Gasoline, Ghosts on the Boardwalk, Big Eyes and Never Say Die.

hein (January 13, 2010)

I really like the first 4 and the last 2 songs... the inbetween is not their best stuff. "Badass" indeed is a weird one on this record, but "I Think That The World" and especially "We All Sing Along" (which we'll probably do on live occasions) are truely great songs, which made this buy a good one for me.

Iamtheed (January 13, 2010)

HUGE Souls fan... but this was disappointing. Caught one of the holiday shows and the crowd's energy just died during the new songs. Don't blame it on people not knowing the songs - they've been available for quite some time now

paulrulzdood (January 13, 2010)

i heard a handful of songs from this and wasn't very impressed...very soft compared to The Gold REcord, which I think ranks among their best work (along with Summer Vacation, their best IMO).

Gasoline is a great song, but Airport Security was just garbage. I think that the world is OK, but so poppy and soft in not a very good way. and "we all sing along" and "dubs says true" just sounded like a charicature of what they used to be, like watered down versions of "true believers" or "sing along forever".

didn't hear anything else from it. i'll probably get this regardless though cuz that's how I am.


raveneffect (January 13, 2010)

I love The Souls but I'm really not feeling this record. I only bought the first 20th Anniversary EP, so most of the album was new to me. The majority of the songs sound pretty uninspired. Pretty mediocre for the Souls if you ask me.

moneenerd (January 13, 2010)

Disappointing Souls record, through and through.
Worst song-writing since the The Bad, The Worse....

Coons (January 13, 2010)

The fact that telegraphrocks thinks "badass" is the only bad song on the album tells me we probably have complete opposite tastes in music. Oh well.

shark-e (January 12, 2010)

If "Badass" were on Hopeless Romantic or the self-titled, it would be a lot better. I'm just kind of cringing as I listen to it now, though...

AlChron77 (January 12, 2010)

What the fuck? I pre-ordered this back in December and still haven't received it. I'm putting a boot up someone's ass.

SloaneDaley (January 12, 2010)

What a dumb fucking thought.

Someone call the whambulance!

telegraphrocks (January 12, 2010)


"The acoustic-driven ‚??Big Eyes‚?? is a hopeful number that finds the Souls at their poppiest, with shuffling rhythm and country-inspired guitar parts -- a possible reflection of where the band might be headed."

What a dumb fucking thought.

telegraphrocks (January 12, 2010)

Are you fucking kidding me? A fucking six? BLASPHEMY!

The only not-awesome song on here is "Badass"... the other 11 are fucking gold!

chrisafi (January 12, 2010)

Worth a 7 at least I think; sure its no Summer Vacation but its better than 9 out of 10 comparable genre releases

Tom_Delonge (January 12, 2010)

It's a circular narrative in many ways where it kind of sums up the human race in a time capsule.

thepopeofchili-town (January 12, 2010)

This is good, not quite The Gold Record or Anchors Aweigh but I like it more than the early stuff, and they're one of the only bands I can say that about.

ricomedy (January 12, 2010)

I like this one better than The Gold Record.

14theroad (January 12, 2010)

Thumbs up. There's filler but when it's good it's damn good.

Torgo (January 12, 2010)

Some songs are a little weak/don't have maximum emotion I'm used to from the Souls. That said, I really love a handful of tracks and frankly i'm just happy they're not 40 releasing embarrassing records.

skankbook (January 12, 2010)

I like it. Not perfect, but as a fan it fulfills everything you want from a Souls album. The TV special is pretty funny, too.

Blackjaw_ (January 12, 2010)

I love 3 of their albums to death, but can't get into most of these songs at all. :(

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