EP Review: Bouncing Souls – Crucial Moments

Celebrating their 30th anniversary, Crucial Moments is a must-have for all punk lovers.

We have a confession to make: WE LOVE NEW JERSEY PUNK. All of it. It’s got energy, it’s got heart and it kicks ass. And the Bouncing Souls are no different, in fact this band is where our love for this scene started in the first place. Now the band are celebrating three decades of bringing that NJ punk to the world. In honour of the anniversary, the band will release Crucial Moments, a brand new six-song EP and accompanying book, out now via Rise Records.

Recorded by Will Yip, Crucial Moments captures the sound of a band who are still completely in love with what they do after all these years. The four-piece — vocalist Greg Attonito, guitarist Pete Steinkopf and bassist Bryan Kienlen, who started the band in 1989, and were joined by drummer George Rebelo in 2013 — aren’t ones to rest on their laurels, as Crucial Moments is a wholehearted, fully-realized addition to The Bouncing Soulscanon. The EP offers the winning familiarity of the band’s most defining traits bolstered by a long career’s worth of songwriting expertise.

On Crucial Moments, the band show no sign of slowing down, instead they present their fans and the listener with reflection, growth and passion about what they do, even thirty years down the road. The Bouncing Souls still turn up the volume and that is exactly what Crucial Moments is here for: six tracks to assault your ears with killer hooks and good old fashioned New Jersey punk rock.

“One more curcial moment, one more round, one more sound, spin it round.” sings vocalist Attonio in the chorus of the EP’s title track. A song that’s about remembering to honour the small moments with friends, nostalgic lyrics dripped in melodic hooks – what a perfect way to open this celebratory EP.

In 1989 vocalist Attonio, guitarist Pete Steinkopf and bassist Bryan Kienlen started the band with drummer George Rebelo joining in 2013. So it’s no surprise that 1989 takes you back to the band’s beginnings as they crank up the pace for just over a minute and a half.

Favourite Everything oozes some of that 90’s pop-punk goodness and reminds of early Blink-182 in the best way possible. It’s infectious from start to finish and is going to be oh-so.fun in a live setting! You can’t have an annversary EP without a decent celebratory tune to go along. And Here’s To Us does exactly that. The prominent riffs and party-mood-inspiring drums make for an ideal dance track.

Then you better be prepared for the high-energy 4th Avenue. You’ll just know this will be the one with the mosh pits at all the shows (we would be very disappointed if it wasn’t). The pace is enough to set your pacemaker off and furious guitar work is excellent, and punk AF.

Closing out Crucial Moments is Home, tugging on all your heartstrings with signature Bouncing Soul sound and hometown nostalgia, the singalongs are pre-programmed for this one as everyone will be able to relate to this in some shape or form.

If the Crucial Moments EP shows where The Bouncing Souls are now, the EP’s accompanying book is a look back at where they’ve been. The collection contains photos, memorabilia, and stories from friends and fans to trace the band’s incredible career and its impact on the people around them. As Attonio puts it, “We’ve made bonds with people around the world that you’d never imagine or dream of when you’re a 17-year-old kid from New Jersey in the ’80s. I’m so grateful that I’ve been through that journey and for what I’ve learned, and what I’ve been able to get for my heart and to give, too. I don’t know how I can imagine my life being more gratifying than that.”

The Bouncing Souls will be spending their 30th anniversary with fans all around the world with a massive run of US, UK, and EU tour dates throughout 2019.

You can see The Bouncing Souls in the UK at the following dates:
22 October – The Fleece, Bristol
24 October – St Lukes, Glasgow
25 October – Gorilla, Manchester
26 October – Electric Ballroom, London