Bouncing Souls - Maniacal Laughter (Cover Artwork)

Bouncing Souls

Maniacal Laughter (1995)


Now this takes me back.

I was just begining to get into punk big time. Drawing Black Flag's and Weasel's on all my notebooks, safety pining all my clothes, bought my first drum set for 50$, stopped brushing my teeth and washing my hair, ya know all that stupid shit you do when you're in high school. Well, I must say that this album was right by my side in those days.

'Maniacal Laughter' is probably my favorite Souls release yet. I haven't heard all of 'How I Spent My Summer Vacation' yet, but I can't see it comparing. This is the Bouncing Souls without the crystal clear Epitaph production. The album is raw and fast, but that has come to be expected from a young punk band(which the Souls were back in 95). One of my favorite punk songs ever comes from ML, that being 'Quick Check Girl'. It's not full of jaw-dropping musicianship, in fact, it's pretty simple, but everytime I hear it, I can't help but reminise. Other Bouncing Soul staples are found on 'Maniacal Laughter' as well. 'Lamar Vanoy', 'Argyle', 'the BMX song', and of course, the concert favorite, 'Here We Go'. I can't leave out 'Born to Lose', a great punk cover of the immortal Johnny Cash's classic. You can actually hear the sound of their hearts being poured out into every song(a little too cheesy?), from the raw guitars to the shouting/singing. Epitaph was a good move for the band, but this album somehow shoves more emotion down your throat than anything else they've released.

Like I said before, you won't find the Strung Out guitar licks, the NOFX drum beats, or the Jawbreaker lyrics here, but what you will find is a great punk record from what was soon to be a huge punk band. The Bouncing Souls have always kept it pure and simple, and this is my album of choice.