The Bouncing Souls - The Good, the Bad and the Argyle (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Bouncing Souls

The Good, the Bad and the Argyle (1994)

Chunksaah Records

The Good, the Bad and the Argyle wasThe Bouncing Souls' debut record. Released in 1994 following a few seven inches here and there, the record featured 12 songs, including two covers and one filled with quotes from movies.

Starting out with the 50—second burst of energy that is "I Like Your Mom," The Bouncing Souls safely cemented themselves early on as a "fun" band. They're the kind of band who don't take themselves too seriously, yet are sentimental and passionate at the same time. This record makes it abundantly clear why. "These Are Quotes from Our Favorite 80s Movies" is literally quotes from the band's favorite 80s movies, yet it is followed by the fantastic "Joe Lies (When He Cries)" which has remained a fan favorite to this day.

The record continues in this fashion, a fun cover of "I Want Candy" by The Strangeloves followed by the classic—Souls—sounding track "Neurotic." Both show off their trademark New Jersey sound, Greg Anttonito's vocal style and their huge backup vocals. Songs like "Joe Lies (When He Cries)" and "The Guest" are fantastic punk rock songs. They both have melodic guitar and great vocals, yet aren't all too fast and show a certain maturity which you wouldn't necessarily expect to find on this kind of record. They could quite easily fit on the band's later records. They show the starting place which the band continued to build on and morph into their trademark sound which was perfected across the next few records.

There's nothing too spectacular about the record as a whole. It doesn't even touch How I Spent My Summer Vacation, but it has a certain charm to it. The Good, the Bad and the Argyle shows why at one second you can be at their show having a good time while they play something like "East Coast Fuck You" then the next minute singing your heart out to "True Believers." The band have always succeeded at towing the line between fun and heartfelt. While this record may not be a masterpiece, it set up the rest of the band's career and gave them a great early sound to build on.