Most people had a period in their lives where they listened to some Bowling for Soup, and when we received a promo of their new album ‘One Big Happy’ it renewed our interests and we had to do a review. It features BFS and the two up and coming bands ‘The Dollyrots’ and ‘Patent Pending’ playing an original song and then covering a song from each of the other bands.
The band say the opening track ‘Let’s Go To The Pub’ was written as something that “the UK would totally embrace, but that the rest of the world would understand.” It’s classic Bowling For Soup, not really any progression or ambitious direction change, but it sticks to the up-tempo punk rock that we all know and love. The lyrics are hardly new or controversial either and I assume that’s to give the song accessibility to a wide range of people whilst on their new tour. Nevertheless it provides a good foundation for the album and will be popular with the die hard fans I’m sure.
The songs that Patent Pending and The Dollyrots chose to cover from BFS’s armoury aren’t the most well-known ones, and there is very little originality in the covers. This reminds me of the ‘Birdy’ scenario where she covered Bon Iver’s ‘Skinny Love’ beautifully, but added nothing to the depth or image of the song. Muse on the other hand covered ‘Feeling Good’ by Nina Simone epically and created a new image for the song entirely. Here it felt like the album could have been boosted so much if the bands had experimented with, and altered, the original songs.
The stand out song is definitely the closing number ‘Love Ya, Love Ya, Love Ya’, a collaboration between Bowling For Soup’s Jaret Reddick & Kelly Ogden from The Dollyrots.Not only is it an original song, but it contains the classic punk-rock rhythmical palm muting as backing to a seamless blending of vocals, especially in the choruses.
The album was released last Monday (the 24th) and is on sale on Amazon at £7.49. This seems a little steep for an album measuring just 32 minutes long, and a cheaper price may have made it more accessible to people looking to find new artists in The Dollyrots and Patent Pending. With on-line streaming being so simple it might make people search for the bands on YouTube as opposed to buying the album. Nevertheless this format of introducing new bands to the main stage is a clever and grounded act by BFS, and it operates as more of a support to the tour as opposed to a stand alone album. I bet the bands had a laugh putting this together though and that is a great reason to make an album.
On October the 14th Bowling for Soup begin their England and Northern Ireland tour on the back of the album release. StArt Magazine will be following the tour carefully and we are meeting up with the band at Rock City on the 25th for an interview and to see the tour live!
ONE BIG HAPPY TOUR DATES – 2012
w/ The Dollyrots & Patent Pending
14 Oct – O2 Academy, Newcastle
15 Oct – O2 ABC, Glasgow
16 Oct – O2 Academy, Liverpool
17 Oct – Mandella Hall, Belfast
18 Oct – The Academy, Dublin
19 Oct – O2 Academy, Leeds
20 Oct – Manchester Academy, Manchester
21 Oct – Picturedrome, Holmfirth
22 Oct – 53 Degrees, Preston
23 Oct – UEA, Norwich
24 Oct – O2 Academy, Birmingham
25 Oct – Rock City, Nottingham
26 Oct – O2 Academy, Bristol
27 Oct – O2 Academy, Oxford
28 Oct – Corn Exchange, Cambridge
Written by Jonathan Baker