This may just be my favorite Bouncing Souls record. I was binging on Souls 7-inches in alphabetical order, trudging through the Anniversary Series, when I slapped this on. True story: I was sitting on the floor when the first notes of Old School thundered out of the record player and my fist instinctually shot in the air and I exclaimed "Yessssssssssss!" as I forcefully put a 5 in my notes for the music category. These three songs are, to use the melodramatic vernacular of the day, AMAAAAAAZING.
Old School starts HARD. A squeal of feedback and a smash of cymbals and drums ripped my formerly complacent fist into the air and I wanted to stomp around counter-clockwise with a bunch of smelly dudes almost instantly. It calms a bit, riding an ominous bass riff until the guitar/drum train blasts by, leaving a vocal/bass bystander alone on the platform. It's weird to think that this record arrived 20 years ago, but you can hear the youth in Greg's voice despite the relatively complex song structure. The pause and sprint and stop and go nature of the song continues until the big reveal. The instruments drop away and we are left with the perfect space for "When I step down / and look around / all I seeeeeee / is separatiooooooooooon." Then a chaotic build takes us out. Damn, this song rules.
These Are The Quotes From Our Favorite 80's Movies is always the song I loved most at shows. The song is exactly what the title claims to be, but the idea is genius in it's silliness, it's fun, and it's instant recognizability. At shows, the boys added an extra level for those in the know. There's a big pause in the recorded version where a sample of Lloyd Dobler's famous speech at the Gas 'n Sip occurs. It's hard to do a sample live, so why not have the audience fill in their own favorite 80's movie quote. The press of bodies to the front to get at that microphone became pretty impressive by the late 90's shows. However, it was always a bit of a let down when someone would shout "HEY YOU GUYS!" every single time. I would hope for a "I love you. I know." or a Robocop quote or something, but it was always Goonies. That and the crazy yelling at the end of the recording are the only possible drawbacks to this gem.
Joe Lies (When He Cries) would seem to be another 80's movie song, but instead you get big giant dinosaur steps of bass line rattling the windows punctuated by stumbling drums that switching over into a peppy punk song. This is really the start of their signature early style: the lackadaisical, loungey vocals over some solid punk tunes. Finger pointing in the air dancing around and singing along music. Always positive and looking forward, the boys leave us with something to think about on this one: "People say / Well, if they don't care / then why should I care? / I say If I don't care / then why should anyone care / So everyday I try / to deal with these liiiiiiiiiiiiiies".
Man, this record rules.
A: Old School
B1: These Are The Quotes From Our Favorite 80's Movies
B2: Joe Lies (When He Cries...)