'Maniacal Laughter' perhaps serves as proof of why the Bouncing Souls spent so much time on the previous album messing around rather than constructing complete songs, as their talents can't be described as anything above mediocre for the genre. Greg Attonito's vocals are reasonably irritating for the majority of this album as he opts for a squeakier register that's particularly loathsome when he enunciates choruses, but there are still enough genuine punk moments between the dull, medium-pace juvenile anthems to keep it interesting, if only just.
This is certainly more of an authentic album than its predecessor, despite clocking in at only twenty-four minutes, as its clearer production and greater consistency allow it to stand stronger on the whole, even if there are few stand-out tracks as a result. Bryan Keinlen's bass is permitted to lead the way the majority of the time, which keeps the songs grounded in a steady rhythm that the less memorable guitars can do their thing over, but the main problem comes in the repetition of the same middling sound through the majority of tracks, with only 'No Rules,' 'The BMX Song' and the brief 'Headlights Ditch' being truly energetic.
As on the previous album, the cover song doesn't really work, this time attempting to re-imagine Johnny Cash material as a punk song without very much effort, particularly when Attonito's voice attempts to sound serious, later on, but a little bit of variety is added in the country-tinged instrumental that follows, at least signalling that this band is capable of creativity and expansion if only they'd avoid the nineties punk rock clichés.
1. Lamar Vannoy
2. No Rules
3. The Freaks, Nerds and Romantics
5. All of This and Nothing
6. The BMX Song
7. Quick Check Girl
8. Headlights Ditch
9. Here We Go
10. Born to Lose (Johnny Cash cover)
11. Moon Over Asbury
12. The Ballad of Johnny X
Before the Bouncing Souls were signed up to Epitaph Records, they released this record on their own label Chunksaah Records. This second album focused on the punk sound that was to define the Souls over the years.
Released in originally in 1995, it has since had new additions printed.
The band on this album are as follows:
Greg Attonito: Vocals
'The' Pete Steinkopf: Guitar
Bryan 'Papillon' Kienlan: Bass
Lamar Vannoy (3.04)
Albums opens with this track, about a friend, music flows a nice pace, that introduces you to the Souls sound, another party tune with an "Oi, Oi, Oi" chant. Song is okay but there are better tracks they could have used.
No Rules (1.10)
Little attacks on certain movements that have arisen in the punk scene, basically the message is saying don't follow the rules just be yourself. Appreciate it more the more you know about the (US) punk scene.
The Freaks, Nerds and Romantics (2.32)
The song recreates the moment of anyone who goes out to enjoy bands. This is a good fun song catches the spirit of the band, there touring, there growth in popularity and tackling some of the old fans who criticise them "Some say they've been left out, I wonder why they still hang around" great sing along that to add to the party spirit has Greg, Pete and Bryan all singing they're own little bit. Despite the vocals being a bit off sometime the energy and passion put in this song makes it one of the best on the album. I feel this song would have been ideal to either open or close the album.
Angry, angsty song about growing up and just being useless in a way that no one can actually match. Song starts off with catchy bass rift and builds from that 50-second music intro before vocals come in. You can tell this was written by someone who was young at the time and struggling to belong "Everywhere I go they talk the same, they don't even have to try they make me fell so lame..." This is a great song - a true Bouncing Souls classic anthem.
All of this and Nothing (0.55)
There is no hidden message in this song, it's a straight out attack at MTV "They don't know about you or me, no matter what they say to be" under a minute fast thrashing track.
The BMX Song (1.57)
A song about the bands love of BMX bikes and what extremes they'd go to buy one "If I had money I'd buy a new BMX But I don't know how I'm gonna eat next" Nice short little song.
Quick Check Girl (2.52)
This song gives us the old story of boy meets girl, they get on, girl already has a fiancée, but things don't work out, so boy sees his chance, but girl isn't interested so disappears from boys life. Great little story shown in an almost three minute song of life in New Jersey, one of the best-written songs on the album.
Headlights Ditch! (0.43)
Another quick track, just bounces through the song, demands of wants and I needs "I want a beer and I want it now", filler track.
Here we go (1.58)
The old football crowd chant is turned into a song about the Souls touring when there van broke down in the middle of nowhere. Fast paced, funny song, with the "Here We Go" bit making light of the situation.
Born to Lose (2.07)
Cover of the Johnny Cash song, a bit more upbeat and quicker pace than the original, but with the vocals is giving a more angsty, aggressive, young punk feel to it. Have you singing along "Born to Lose and Now I'm Losing You!!!"
Moon Over Asbury (1.45)
Instrumental, bit like a western tune, laid back and cool track.
The Ballad of Johnny X (2.06)
Album closes with a help from the Bouncing Souls friend Johnny X, who wrote this song to help them fill this album, namely about himself, who features on guitar himself and sings the final verse. Could be a song though about anyone you know who doesn't care about what anyone says. "Johnny says he's bound by only six strings to this world" Fantastic closing.
(Total Album Time: 23 minutes and 48 seconds)
Artwork is by Bryan who has done a zombie theme on the front and the head logo on the back which has featured on most Bouncing Souls merchandise in some way or another ever since.
Good fun album, full of catchy bass lines, sing along tunes, drums played with authority and solid guitar playing.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Lamar Vannoy
2 No Rules
3 Freaks Nerds And Romantics
5 All Of This And Nothing
6 BMX Song
7 Quick Check Girl
9 Here We Go
10 Born To Lose
11 Moon Over Asbury
12 Ballad Of Johnny X