Published on April 6th, 2019

Bouncing Souls by Danny Clinch

There’s a bond between South Florida and greater New York-New Jersey. Whether it’s mob-inspired or leisure-minded — we live where people vacation, a straight shot south — the connection means crowds of north-easterners and South Floridians inevitably connect. So it’s no surprise the Bouncing Souls are coming to rattle the cages of South Florida punks. 

Formed in 1989 in New Brunswick, N.J., the Bouncing Souls, with their punk scrappiness and pop sensibilities, are a bit confounding; not as poppy as Blink 182; not as vehement as Black Flag. Instead the Souls built their own sound on a street-punk discernment that stemmed from growing up no-goodnik kids with BMX bikes and heads in the clouds. Their albums are mirrors of the band members’ maturing, with early songs referencing John Hughes films, crushes on the QuickCheck girl, and hanging with locals when their ride breaks down on tour.

Year over year, record by record, the Bouncing Souls have charted their collective growth as mates and human beings in a way that other bands don’t seem capable of — with a sincerity that keeps the Souls fresh and fun for every new generation that discovers their angsty anthems. 

In the ’90s they played The Edge fairly often, most notably with NOFX — tours that were a highlight at a time when most bands couldn’t be bothered to go below Orlando. This return to the same space, different name (Revolution Live), on a tour officially celebrating 30 years, is absolutely stacked with good support that, all told, arguably leans a little more rock than punk.

But with the decline of the Warped Tour, how else are kids going to get their fix of punk rock chaos? The old-school way — by sneaking away to a show in a dark place where pits form and people collide. Times haven’t changed too much since those halcyon days at The Edge; they’ve just been re-invented for a new generation. Even at 30, the Bouncing Souls’ motto never gets old: “Drink coffee and destroy.”

The Bouncing Souls play an all-ages show 6pm April 13 at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale with the Bronx, the Casualties, and Crazy & The Brains, $24.50. ~ Tim Moffatt

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