Words by Tyler Walicek
Pop-punk progenitors Bouncing Souls have been playing assiduously since they got their start in late 1980s Jersey. It’s safe to say that their influence is responsible for a wide swath of modern punk that straddles the line between furious and fun. Albums like Hopeless Romantic, How I Spent My Summer Vacation, and Anchors Aweigh are high points in a discography that includes a dozen albums and another dozen EPs. Still at the helm of Chunksaah Records, which they founded in 1993 to self-release their own material, Greg Attonito, Pete Steinkopf, Bryan Kienlen, and newcomer George Rebelo (of Hot Water Music and Against Me!) are up there with some of the most esteemed names in punk rock. Lighthearted, though often poignant, their anthemic sing-alongs are still just as fun today as they must have been at New Jersey punk shows two decades ago.
Sharing the bill is AJJ, as they are now known, having shortened their name from Andrew Jackson Jihad in the interest of no longer referencing one of our most murderous former presidents. Though they've shed a bit of their folk-punk timbre along with their original moniker, they haven’t lost their rough-around-the-edges emotiveness in their transition to a more full-band sound. Latest albums Christmas Island and The Bible 2 burst with fuzz tones, double-tracked electric guitars, hammering drums, and even hints of synthesizer. It’s a maturation of their sound that may have alienated some die-hard crust punks, but that's eminently listenable. A steady stream of albums have followed 2007’s beloved People Who Can Eat People are the Luckiest People in the World, and frontman Sean Bonnette has never lost his vulnerability as he continues to meld the personal and political in his own affecting brand of folk rock.
To enter for a chance to win tickets to see Bouncing Souls at Slim’s on March 22, email firstname.lastname@example.org with "Bouncing Souls" in the subject line and your full name in the body of the email. A winner will be selected at random and notified via email.