The Bouncing Souls new record officially comes out today. The cheekily titled Volume 2 is more than just an acoustic record, it’s a career spanning collection of fully reimagined songs. The newly orchestrated delivery is a perfect companion and offers a new take on the timeless songwriting. Whether cherishing a present moment, looking towards the future or appreciating the past, The Bouncing Souls continue to reinvent how to sing along.
In 2019, The Bouncing Souls—vocalist Greg Attonito, guitarist Pete Steinkopf, and bassist Bryan Kienlen, who started the band in 1989, along with drummer George Rebelo who joined in 2013—celebrated 30 years as a band, They teamed with acclaimed producer/engineer Will Yip (The Menzingers, Title Fight, Turnstile) to mark the milestone, recording an EP of new songs, Crucial Moments .
Yip brought an invigorating spark to The Souls’ hook-filled punk sound, and the band pushed themselves out of their live comfort zones as well. “We decided to do something we hadn’t done before by playing these acoustic sets before the shows,” Attonito explains. “We had a lot of fun winging it and people started asking us if we were thinking about doing an acoustic record…so we started to think about it.”
The band recruited Yip once again, and their early idea quickly grew beyond the initial stripped-down conceit. “We went into making this record with no plan or pretense at all,” says Steinkopf. “The first day we got to the studio Will 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.”
The process provided a unique opportunity for the band to cast some of their most cherished music in a fresh light. “Many of the songs we recorded have been around for twenty years or more and we’ve played them thousands of times,” Attonito says, “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.”
“It felt great to shine a new light on some of the older punk songs and allow the lyrics to be heard more clearly,” Kienlen points out. And for Rebelo, Volume 2 was a chance to bring something personal to songs recorded before he joined the band. “As a fan, I’ve cherished these songs, and now as a member I got to put my own stamp on them. These versions show how broad The Souls can take things.”
Songs from the band’s early career will be familiar to long time listeners, but the new takes reinvigorate the emotions therein. “Argyle” kicks off the album and instead of craving the most ferocious circle pit, one might go for a drive instead. The same goes for the choir inspiring “Gone,” the song retains it’s beauty, but the accompaniment of strings is heart wrenching.
If you’ve been lucky to see The Bouncing Souls live, you know the energy is instantaneous upon the first notes strummed. Already classic songs like “Kids and Heroes” or “Hopeless Romantic” may have that infectious anthem vibe, but listeners will likely feel a whole new reason to shake and shimmy. The new blend of toned down and simplistic approach transform the occasional acoustic set into a whole new monster.
Volume 2 contains a brand new song “World On Fire” whose lyrics focus on the uncertainty of the planet. The tragic irony is how the song now marks a moment in the timeline when our way of life was just beginning to reshape. Vocalist Greg Attonito recalls, “Our last day in the studio marked the first day of Covid lock down, 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.”
That context shapes the way he looks back on making Volume 2: “We enjoyed the time spent together in a very spontaneous creative environment without any negativity slowing us down, but on a deeper level it feels like that kind of environment is sorely missing from our world today. I hope this little collection of songs is fuel for that fight.”
ORDER VOLUME 2 HERE
VOLUME 2 TRACKLISTING:
03. Late Bloomer
04. Simple Man
05. Hopeless Romantic
06. Kids and Heroes
07. Favorite Thing
08. Highway Kings
09. World On Fire
10. Say Anything
11. Ghosts On The Boardwalk