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The Bouncing Souls / Buglite - Tales Of Doomed Romance By...
(3/5: decent)
Punk 7" vinyl (Original pressing)
Creep Records (1994, creep 008)
I paid $6.00 for this record.

The Bouncing Souls side of this record is far superior, so let's just get the Buglite side out of the way.

Buglite's guitar sound is terrible. And they use it to create some cheesy almost-garage rock songs. Maybe like The Monkees or something. I don't know why these bands paired up for this split. The only tenuous connection I can make is that the Buglite vocalist sort of sounds like a restrained Greg from The Bouncing Souls. Real breathy and subdued. Actually, a lot like the Skantraceptives vocalist, not that this reference helps anyone. The two saccharine, na na na songs on this split seem pretty unredeemable, unless you're a drummer. The second song, Flower Girl has a spectacularly fast drum beat and ends with a really long roll. If I could just listen to the drums, this would be an alright band. They're sort of bringing me down, man.

The Bouncing Souls side is a preview of two songs that would eventually make it onto Maniacal Laughter, but these versions are different! As I've mentioned before, Maniacal Laughter is definitely The Souls' punkest record. It's faster, rawer (RAWR!), and grittier than all the rest, in my opinion. Quickcheck Girl is the boys' punk rock love song. Of course, it ends badly. Maybe it's more a punk rock crush song. The vocals definitely sound tough, but the production on this version is pretty bad. There's also a backing vocal part, "In love with a Quickcheck girl", that got dropped for the album version. Due to the production, the backing vocals overtake the lead vocals and the whole thing becomes kind of a mess. The half-time parts sound wrong and the guitar solo is weirdly out of place under some pretty pathetic vocals, but this is probably just my album-version bias.

Born To Lose was my dad's favorite Bouncing Souls song. Not just because it's written by Johnny Cash, but because he liked laughing at the band. I remember riding with him in the car somewhere listening to my music and he just laughed when Greg goes "Born to loooooooose and now I'm losing you!". There's another line that Greg sings out of tune on the album version and then corrects: "Blue, that is." My dad liked that correction as well. I always thought it was purposeful, but this early recording hints that the correction was improvised and then kept in the recording. Both versions are great covers of the original and add drama and levity, though this version is slightly more country while being also slightly more aggressive.

I don't know that this is a necessary record for anyone to own. Particularly not this Creep Records 1st press, just get the Chunksaah repress with a different B-side Band. The Bouncing Souls songs were all released on the compilation The Bad, The Worse, And The Out Of Print, so unless you really want to check out the cool comic about the Quickcheck girl story, you can skip this one.

Tracks:
A1: QuickChek Girl The Bouncing Souls
A2: Born To Lose The Bouncing Souls
B1: She Loves Me Buglite
B2: Just A Dream Buglite

Last updated: 03/15/2014
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