|Bowling For Soup - ‘Drunk Dynasty’ (Brando Records)|
|Written by Phil Cooper|
|Wednesday, 14 December 2016 06:00|
It’s not been a bad time to be a Bowling For Soup fan recently. New tours, including a welcome return to UK shores, a new DVD of acoustic performances - and a new album in the form of ‘Drunk Dynasty’.
For this release the band enlisted the help of their legions of fans through PledgeMusic for the recording process. Offering different levels of reward for pledges as a way to give back and keeping everyone up to date with the album development via social media. Pop-punk doesn’t always get taken seriously and there are many examples of why this is the case. However, Jaret and the boys have always produced great tracks that give the genre an edge and they’re determined that this album should be one of their best.
One minute into album opener ‘She Used To Be Mine’ and it’s clear that BFS are back to wave the pop-punk flag high and produce the kind of music that won them so many fans around the world. Big guitar sounds and powerful rhythms joined with a hefty dose of humour and musical talent (excellent harmonies on the chorus line of ‘Fuck it up’). They haven’t changed a bit despite this being their first release in some years. That’s not to say that they sound stale and that ‘Drunk Dynasty’ is just a rehash of old ideas. They’ve delivered a collection of tracks that focus on quality rather than innovation, highlighting the best of what pop-punk as a genre has to offer. Clever, amusing and at times thought provoking lyrics that cover a whole range of life and love coupled with big guitar riffs and sing along choruses. This is what BFS do and they certainly do it well.
Tracks like ‘Hey Diane’, ‘Catalyst’ and ‘She Used To Be Mine’ deliver big crowd sing along lyrics. ‘Don’t Be A Dick’ is a fine example of how Jaret can write a song that contains an important message using humour wrapped up with thumping guitar chords, pounding bass and drums and a very catchy hook in the chorus. ‘Happy As Happy Gets’ offers up an acoustic guitar led sound that explores the depths of relationship issues, something that Jaret has always been able to do well without the subject matter sounding contrived or sickening.
Jaret, Chris, Erik and Gary are firing on all cylinders here producing eleven tracks that will fit in nicely with their back catalogue. From start to finish ‘Drunk Dynasty’ is pop-punk rollercoaster that never ceases to be anything other than full on. As I alluded to there is nothing necessarily new in terms of the sound or song style and that is in no way a negative (if it ain’t broke...).
It’s the Bowling For Soup sound and they’ve nailed it with this one. Get some beers in and play it loud!