New Jersey punk legends The Bouncing Souls are celebrating three decades in the scene with new versions of songs from across their extensive back catalogue.
Vocalist Greg Attonito explained: “It was really satisfying to bring 30 years of experience to these recordings. We knew the songs inside and out so it was fun to stretch them out a bit and see what happened.”
Guitarist Pete Steinkopf added: “The first day we got to the studio Will [Yip, producer] said something like ‘we’re not gonna just make an acoustic record, right guys?’ We were like ‘hell no’ and then we were off to the races.”
Take Highway Kings, for example. Transforming the blistering classic into a jangly number allows for focus on the resolute lyrics – “what are dreams for anyway/without the guts to live your life that way?” The new rendition still has impact and feeling, but in a different way.
Bassist Bryan Kienlen reflected: “I certainly didn’t expect to end up so excited by what we accomplished. Certain tracks on this record are true departures for us, and that was so liberating, I think we’ve broken some stale moulds we’d formed over the decades. The music is totally fresh, and the song lyrics really get a chance to shine in this new setting.”
The ten reimagined songs on Volume 2 are Argyle, Gone, Late Bloomer, Simple Man, Hopeless Romantic, Kids and Heroes, Favorite Thing, Highway Kings, Say Anything and Ghosts on the Boardwalk. There is also one new track, World on Fire.
Luckily for them (and us), the record was finished just in time. “Our last day in the studio marked the first day of Covid lockdown, and to me this session will always be the period at the end of the huge sentence that was our way of life before Covid,” Attonito explained.
Volume 2, produced by Will Yip (The Mezingers), is out now on Pure Noise Records.
Photo Credit: Danny Clinch