Volume 2 of the anniversary series again comes on an awesome color. Blue with black streaks and orange highlights. The first pressing is the best pressing!
Similar to Volume 1, it starts with the most anthemic track, Dubs Says True. It's a solidly positive song about friends that stick around through it all. Like much of the modern Bouncing Souls catalog, it gets you instantly tapping along. The "We will always be true" refrain gets you imagining the sweaty singing along of the heart of a Souls show. And the riff sounds familiar, but I just can't place this one. Another good track in the series, but it's only the second volume and I'm yearning for fewer anthems.
The second track is a pretty basic, cheesy love song. Yet, it doesn't seem like a fully fleshed out song for some reason. Like there was one idea and they just decided to repeat that melody a few times. It's pretty forgettable despite the repetition, though.
And then the B-side starts with some kind of attempt to write a Jimmy Buffet song. There's a harmonica, some weird samples, and some sort-of-redeeming silly backing vocals. It's a lot like The Screamer or Holiday Cocktail Lounge from the Self-Titled record. A weird, lounge-y, break from the punk. But that's one thing about these guys, they aren't afraid of trying out new genres. They aren't afraid of doing what they want. Which is really what punk is supposed to be, right?
We finish up volume 2 with the demo version of Gasoline. After the weird pressing decision of having a second lead-in groove before the last track, that is. Apparently this is true on all four pressings. Hm. At any rate, the acoustic version of Gasoline is better than the electric version in exactly one way: the ending. Instead of repeating the chorus ad infinitum, they go for a nice, abrupt ending. Before that, they threw in some unnecessary piano, more lackadaisical vocals than normal and a lot less of the punch of the full version. This is probably only a track for collectors or aficionados. Maybe that's true of the whole series, I suppose. Well, volume 2 is not the worst, for sure.
A1: Dubs Says True
A2: I Think That the World
B1: The Mental Bits
B2: Gasoline (Demo Version)