The Bouncing Souls – with SNFU at The Rat – Review

The Bouncing Souls

with SNFU at The Rat
by Scott Hefflon
photo by Joe Reilly

They certainly are The Bouncing Souls. Every joke, every motion, carried with it a buoyant joviality (that means good bouncing fun). Positive energy punk in its purest form. Oh, and the kids were skankin’ and slamming and pogoing and doing a bit of that ’80s mosh thing, too. The singer, Greg, had the goofiest facial expressions allowed by law in a public place. I believe “Facially Animate” would be the polite way to water that down. Fast, tight, melodic and brimming with good feeling for all, the Bouncing Souls charged through their set until the drummer broke a pedal.

Bummer. While the roadies scrambled in classic Three Stooges style to find another, the drummerless souls decided to play “an emo tune just this very moment. Because you know what I’m talking about when I express my pain, right?” Greg’s eyebrow scraped the ceiling, it was so arched. The Souls threw themselves into an incredibly chaotic din of feedback, howling and group sobbing. “I feel much better now,” they agreed when they’d finished tantruming. After a few more up-tempo anthems, they did a great cover of “Born to Lose.” Fuckin’ right on! Suddenly, everyone moved one instrument to the right for a Damned cover, and then switched back for the Whoa! Whoa! climax.

SNFU has a history longer than… well, a lot of things I could mention, but none seem relevant in a music review. While this and every CD they’ve released is a masterpiece of witty lyrics and solid punk rock energy, they seemed so damned practiced compared to the Bouncing Souls. Not that either was “bad,” but the Souls were fun and SNFU put on a fun show for us. There just seemed to be distance between crowd and performer. The show poured out all the energy and wildness you could ever hope for from a live band, and vocalist Mr. Chi Pig is definitely one wacked-out human. Leaping everywhere with them dread/braid things, he was a sight to see. His fellow SNFUers played and sang along in tight harmonies and, yes, there were even guitar solos in a few of the songs. Precision punk sounds like a conflict of terms, but the kids ate it up.