This early Bouncing Souls EP hints at a lot of the material to come afterwards. There's a little of the "nice" Souls sound, a touch of the anthemic later records and a ton of the punk speed that would represent their 2nd full length. This record shows off the talent of the bass player a bit more than earlier records and also provides a wider range of sounds for the band. It's an important snapshot of their progress and solidification of their early sound, for sure.
Neurotic highlights that variety of sound and the punk undertones to their beginnings. The song is layers of yelling and alternating vocals that eventually devolves into chaos and fades into a sample of the scene from Raging Bull where DeNiro just punches and head butts a wall. A lot. There's a really nice break in before the chaos where the vocalists whisper "We're Neurotic. We've had it." over the pulsing bass that really shows the band's understanding of drama.
The Guest is the song that hints most at future Bouncing souls. It begins with a calmer vocal style under a short, clean build that breaks into a repeated chorus. The key to the future sound is that mix of longer vocal phrases over the speedy punk backing music. Most punk bands tried to just blast out everything and The Bouncing Souls' genius was to make the lyrics singable and the music fast, so you could dance and sing at the same time. The only drawback of The Guest is the slightly out of tune nature of the vocals, but perhaps that is endearing, as well.
The B-side is better than the A-side with two classic tracks. Some Kind Of Wonderful begins with another hint towards the future: a lounge spoken word intro. Then, it smashes into a punk lament of lost love, or maybe a critique of the dependence on finding a girl to be with. I mean, this is a dude band after all, they have to sing about girls. This one seems to be struggling with the need to be independent and the need to be dependent. It's a pretty heavy concept for dudes, but the lyrics are pretty simplistic. "... things are pathetic when I'm this way and I can see that no one is perfect, why do I do this to myself?"
This EP uses much the same formula as the Anniversary Series, Volume 3 and ends with a silly song. I Like Your Mom is awesome. Here's all the lyrics "I like your mom and it's no fad. I wanna marry her and be your dad!" Awesome. Yet despite this awesomeness, the record is not my favorite. Not quite anthemic enough or not quite silly enough, I suppose. They were still working on their sound, after all.
A2: The Guest
B1: Some Kind of Wonderful
B2: I Like Your Mom