Bouncing Souls - Hopeless Romantic (Cover Artwork)

Bouncing Souls

Hopeless Romantic (1999)


In such a short period of time, it is amazing to see the boundaries and extremes "punk" music has hit. I'm not an elitist, and I will never post on a message board "why is news about (insert band name here) being posted, I thought this was" There is a point to all this rambling; for all the naysaying that runs rampant on this site, there is one band that almost everyone agrees is actually "punk," and in 1999 they released a remarkable album. That band is the Bouncing Souls, and that album is Hopeless Romantic.

Up untill 1999 the Souls had always been a solid if not, dare I say, inconsistent band. While all albums up to this point had flashes of brilliance, I somehow felt they weren't complete. With Hopeless Romantic, the band's second release for Epitaph, the Souls showed what they were capable of.

The title track comes roaring out of the gate with its tale of a true hopeless romantic. Following is the 1-2 punch of "'87" and "Kid." "'87" is the standard song by the Souls of the way life used to be and holding on to the memories, while "Kid" might be one of the catchiest numbers the band has written, even though the lyrics have the album's constant theme of heartbreak.

You can't really pinpoint what makes this album so great. The backup vocals help really make this band, and they are spot on, as is the guitar playing of The Pete. Maybe it's the song "Night on Earth" in which Bryan plays a groove you can get lost in that you never want to stop. It also could be that the Souls still let their humorous side shine with songs like "Wish Me Well (Go to Hell)" but also keep you singing along and have you relating.

The Souls have seen it all -- they have been homeless, they have worked 9-5, as evident in the wickedly catchy "Monday Morning Ant Brigade." Every track has a story that you all can relate to. The Souls lost none of their love of punk music or playing fast, they just learned that you can take it down a notch and be just as effective as they tightened up their playing.

Honesty, love, memories, and loss are all represented on this album. No posing and no faking, these are things that can't be disputed on a message board.