Monday, May 2, 2011

'Live at Generation Records' by The Bouncing Souls

By Justin Schwier
Rating: 3/5
Independent Label Collective

I must admit that this was an impulse buy and didn’t realize it was an acoustic live album, so shame on me for not doing my research. This was recorded on 2010’s Record Store Day at Generation Records in New York. The recording captures the whimsical prevalence in the earlier days of the band, struggling with the 'serious artists' that they are today; and I’m not saying that in bad way, they’ve clearly matured from the days of "I Like Your Mom." Lead singer Greg Antonito is his typical goofy self throughout and it’s great to hear him really soar on “Gasoline” from their latest album, Ghosts on the Boardwalk. For the most part, the only songs he really sounds confident on are the more recent ones, which were clearly written for the acoustic setting that the band's been gravitating toward for the past few years. They stick to earlier material through most of their set (five of the 11 songs come from their first two albums) and throw in a charming ukulele’d cover of Sick Of It All’s “Good Lookin’ Out.” They close their set out with the classic song, “Night on Earth” from Hopeless Romantic.
They totally skipped over four entire albums, so I’d have liked to see a more balanced set, or have heard them a little more rehearsed, but this is a novelty release, so you have to take it with a grain of salt. This isn’t a total waste. It’s certainly not a perfect record, but the high points will inspire repeat spins and actually made me appreciate a few of the newer songs that even make me curious to pull out a few of the last albums and give them another chance, which is probably about the nicest thing I could write.

Track Listing:
1. Quik Chek Girl
2. Lamar Vannoy
3. Here We Go
4. Ghosts On The Boardwalk
5. I Like Your Mom
6. The Freaks, The Nerds, and The Romantics
7. Joe Lies (When He Cries)
8. Big Eyes
9. Gasoline
10. Good Lookin' Out [Sick Of It All cover]
11. Night On Earth

Pressing info: 1,500 copies.

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