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The Bouncing Souls are a punk rock band from New Brunswick, New Jersey formed in 1987. By the time of their acknowledgment by the national punk scene, they had reignited a "pogo" element to New Jersey punk rock by playing fast light-hearted songs, a model followed by various other local bands (e.g. Blanks 77 and the Bristles). In the early stages of their career, they played a hybrid of punk, funk, metal, and just about anything else they felt like including. They were known for their energetic live shows, albeit with an amateurish element on their recordings at that stage.
The Bouncing Souls are one of the best selling and longest lived of the punk bands from New Jersey, following the legacy of previously successful punk bands Adrenalin OD and the Misfits.
After playing mostly parties and shows they put on themselves, they released their first full-length album, The Good, The Bad & The Argyle on Chunksaah Records in 1994. The album was a compilation of several EPs the band had released previously. Two tracks of this record, "Candy" (popularized by Bow Wow Wow) and "What Boys Like" (originally by the Waitresses) served as homage to 1980s new wave while simultaneously striking a humorous jab at homophobia. Their next album, Maniacal Laughter was released in 1996. Half the album was written in a week. It led to a high profile tour with Youth Brigade that got the attention of Epitaph records.
The Bouncing Souls signed with Epitaph in 1997 and released Bouncing Souls later that year. While it contains some Bouncing Souls classics like "Cracked," "Kate is Great," and "East Coast! Fuck You!," certain tracks on the record are anticlimactic in comparison to their low-fi earlier recordings. Greg himself stated on Do You Remember? 15 Years of the Bouncing Souls that "It's a CD of unfinished songs." Hopeless Romantic followed in 1999. Hopeless Romantic has been heralded for admixing poignant lyrics with their melodic rapidly-paced punk style. Soon after the album's release, personal problems arose between the band and long-time drummer Shal Khichi which resulted in his departure from the band. He was replaced by former Skinnerbox, Mephiskapheles, and Murphy's Law drummer, Michael McDermott.
How I Spent My Summer Vacation was the first album released with the new line-up. By now, the band had become viewed as seminal to the modern punk sound, with a new generation of fans discovering their earlier releases as they toured with newer bands as well as larger punk acts such as Hot Water Music. 2002 brought a b-sides album, The Bad the Worse and the Out of Print and an acclaimed split with Anti-Flag as part of the BYO Split Series. In 2003, the band released their 6th album Anchors Aweigh, as well as their first DVD, Do You Remember? 15 Years of the Bouncing Souls. In 2005, they had two live releases, a double CD album, simply titled Live, as well as a DVD, titled Live at the Glasshouse, which was the 19th entry in Kung Fu Films' The Show Must Go Off! series. The band released their 7th album, titled The Gold Record on June 6th, 2006, or 6/6/06 which the band has called 'The number of the release,' in reference to 666, which is known as 'The number of the beast.' Also, due to their first full-length record being a collection of previous releases, many fans also consider this to in fact be their 6th studio album, and thus 666 is also partly in reference to this. They will then head out on Warped Tour in support of their new record.
The band's name is a reference to an advertising slogan used by punk standards, Doc Martens shoes, in reference to their air-cushioned soles. To this day, tags on Doc Martens read "with Bouncing Soles".
-Pete 'The Pete' Steinkopf.
-Bryan 'Papillon' Kienlen.