Bowling For Soup are now on their 11th studio album, after over twenty years as a band. After glossing over their temporary UK “retirement” the band are back doing what they do best: ignorant, hilarious pop punk with big choruses.
Indeed, Drunk Dynasty, as the name suggests, does not reinvent the Bowling for Soup wheel. However, that wheel is one has no need of reinvention. No one is after a political BFS record, no one is after a serious record in the shape of The Story So Far from this bunch of happy-go-lucky Texans.
They refuse to be drawn onto more serious ground, continuing their comedy rock stylings throughout the album, and once again it provides a nice break from the morose lyrics that often populate more modern pop punk music.
Jaret Reddick’s iconic high pitched voice makes its triumphant return, this time belting out simple but catchy choruses on tracks like “Shit to Do,” which apes Andrew WK with its high energy keyboard based riffing and vocal effects or the genuinely touching tribute to friend “Hey Diane.”
There are hints of change; on both “Drinking’ Beer On A Sunday” and “Happy As Happy Gets,” the band briefly visit an almost country-inspired song structure and while it is nice to see the band explore new territories, and giving Chris Burney something to do always makes for a great addition to a Bowling for Soup song, it doesn’t have the anthemic power of some of the other songs on the record, and the country guitar seems a little shallow, though the guest female vocals from Kelly Ogden make a nice touch.
Again, the band don’t experiment much lyrically: at this point, its impressive the sheer volume of post-heartbreak, slightly passed off lyrics that Reddick can pump out. The uplifting and straightforward message of “Don’t Be A Dick” offers a look at the honest nature of Reddick and co whilst offering up some laughs along the way. As a song, it also sums up the record: straightforward, funny and anthemic, and quite possibly the perfect antidote for the miserable winter weather.
Bowling For Soup’s Drunk Dynasty is out now on Brando Records / Que-So Records.