Bouncing Souls - How I Spent My Summer Vacation (Cover Artwork)

Bouncing Souls

How I Spent My Summer Vacation (2001)


Last month I ran into a friend and relayed my anticiaption for the upcoming Bouncing Souls record. However, my excitement contrasted his boredom as he casually blew me off and said their last album, Hopeless Romantic, was mediocre, and their best album, Maniacal Laughter, is nearly six years old; a new album by the Bouncing Souls deserves no attention or hype.

Times like this make me wish I was a human taperecorder; I'll be rolling my eyes when he sings praise about How I Spent My Summer Vacation.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation will shut-up any Bouning Souls critic and create an even larger fan base for the band. Believe the band when they say, "This is the best album we have recorded."

On the first track, That Song, Greg sings, "I put that record on just to make a sound The rythm hit it got my movement off the ground The soundtrack of what I want to be If I want to change the world, it's gotta start with me." Not only do the Bouncing Souls still have their lyric savy, but this song is a foreshadowing for the album: 35 minutes of rock with throbbing bass lines, insane guitar hooks, uncanny drumming, and Greg's voice doing everything from melodic to frantic.

My favorite song is Manthem. The last time I danced to a song until I was out of breath was Rancid's Old Friend. Manthem gets you jumping from the beginning with the bass line and the drum beat, and the guitar enters to make you crazy. The chorus will also put a smile on your face and get you chanting along as the band sings, "Oi, Oi, Oi, Oi, Oi!"

A lot of criticism for Hopeless Romantic was you could not listen to it from start to finish; it tapered off in substance towards the end. How I Spent My Summer Vacation can be listened from track 1 to 13, with the pace only stopping so you can catch your breath. Furthermore, the last song, Gone, is possibly the best song on the album.

As with their previous albums, the objective of the Bouncing Souls is to get the listener to forget their worries and hang-ups and to escape into a world where music instills independence and self reliance. Not only do the The Bouncing Souls stay true to themselves with How I Spent My Summer Vacation, they recorded their best album, and quite possibly, the best album of the year.

The Bouncing Souls spent last year's summer vacation recording this album, and I'll be spending my summer vacation listening to it.