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August 05, 2002 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2002-08-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Bol
Second drunken voyal
for punk rockers Bowlih
uey Tony Ding Johnny, the new album has much
Daily Arts Writer less love-strung lullabies and a
great deal more spunk.
In 2000, like Magellan discover- Eighteen full-length tracks fill the
ing passage to the Pacific, iber-pop CD to its max, with the album
music label Jive Records found the opener "I Don't Wanna Rock"
Texan quartet Bowling For Soup erupting off the top in seismic
nd with them dove headfirst into drums and guitars. The song instan-
the unpredictable waters of pop- taneously showcases the band's sig-
punk. With a dynamic name like nature sound - a distinctive march
Jive however, whose of rhythmic, iambic
ranks boast not only beats, accompanied by
N*Sync, but also The earnest, "conversation-
Backstreet Boys and **** al" vocals. In line with
Britney Spears, the its name, which
boarding of the pop- DRUNK ENOUGH implies both literal and
diva ship by Bowling TO DANCE figurative meanings,
For Soup cries out Bowling for Soup the song is witty yet
blasphemy. It's a risky JieRcrs simple.
move for the label and JiveSo much of this new
the artists, but fortu- BFS album partakes in
nately, the journey has so far been - mockery and humor that its multi-
smooth sailing. ple love-related songs all seemed to
Fast forward to present-day reali- have been given the Bloodhound
ty. Now the punk cowboys of Bowl- Gang treatment. In "Emily," a not-
ing For Soup push off on their so-remarkable ballad about the girl
second voyage, with a new Jive who's hard to get over, the anger
album to be released Aug. 20. Char- and hurt conveyed through the
acteristically named Drunk Enough song's lyrics are glazed over by the
To Dance, the album is titled after band's happy-go-lucky attitude. No
the phenomenon when drunken matter how much lead vocal Jaret
folks unconsciously lose their pro- Von Erich expels his heart to us,
hibitions and humility. Unlike their repeating Emily's name all night
2000 Jive release Lets Do It For until the rooster croaks, it still
" sounds like a joke
and simply doesn't
garner any tearjerker
points. But perhaps
that was the intended
effect...I mean, its
only a girl right?
Bowling For
Soup's knack for
sugar-pop hits cul-
minate on this album
in "Girl All the Bad
Guys Want," a song
which Von Erich
explained as being
about the babysitter
all men had as a kid
and their effective
lust of said care-
PJs
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WL-O-RAMA

ge a strike
g for Soup
taker. With an algorithmic two-four
beat and one-liner end rhymes fit
for Mother Goose, the song march-
es in a giddy procession that'll
make you drum the gas-peddle, if
you're driving, or want to jump out-
side and play hop-scotch. It's remi-
niscent of the BFS gem "Dance
With You," from Lets Do It For
Johnny, inciting fond memories of
Mrs. Petersen's fourth-grade
Thanksgiving square dance show all
over again - except this time, the
puppy love is over and you're gawk-
ing at a chick that "creams over
tough guys."
Time and again, it's evident that
the addictive nature of Bowling For
Soup's songs aren't necessarily
thanks to ingenuity in their lyrics,
which are often elementary drib-
bles, but when embraced within the
band's uncanny ability to generate
interesting arrangements and
melodies out of plebian rock music
instruments, standard factory
tracks like "Self-centered" and
"The Hard Way" ends up with the
luxury sunroof and Bose surround-
sound'package.
There are also pleasant surprises
in Drunk Enough, such as "Where
to Begin," which stands out as the
offbeat breakaway track of the
album, with BFS abandoning their
familiar tempo for a decent trial of
soft harmonies and long, strained
floating notes. In "Cold Shower
Tuesdays," which resonates haunt-
inglv close to some Green Day

numbers, bassist Erik Rodham Clin-
ton strums solo cutovers that gener-
ate images of roaring Harleys and
40-ounce steaks, served up by
roller-girls with flowing golden
locks. Hints that Bowling For
Soup's sound is genuine Americana.
The Texans' south-of-the-border
influence slips in during "On and
On", with Von Erich passing a line
or two of roughly pronounced
Espanole. Similarly, the cheeky nar-
rative "Running From Your Dad"
could haveve been the soundtrack
for a certain Seinfeld episode with
Kramer on the farms. The follow-up
track "Scaring Myself" is also
graced with just a hint of that old
hickory Southern jive - long
enough to spice the song with iden-
tity, but brief enough to not risk
sounding like country. A bonus

track has also been tucked away at
the end of the CD, sneaking in an
acoustic version of Bowling For
Soup's "Belgium," a compelling,
heartfelt love song.
Bowling For Soup is definitely a
prime catch for Jive, and with their
distinctive dance-prone elements
and ultra melodic, ultra rhythmic
pace, the songs are perfect for a
freestyle shuffle. They're a treasure
chest hidden in the pop-punk world
and much deserving musicians in a
league bursting with pop-divas and
poster-pinup idols. Perhaps it's
because of their older age that
they're not outwardly attractive
enough to an overrun market. Or
their anonymity may simply be a
result of a cautious, low-key PR
campaign from the band's appre-
hensive new home.

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Experimental sessions last under an hour. You will be eligible to
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Days: All seven days of the week
Times: 5:30 and 7:00 PM.
To be included in the pool of possible subjects, register at:
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To participate, you must be over the age of 18.

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