After nearly two decades, the Bouncing Souls still sound enthusiastic and full of the wild, vivacious joy that first motivated them to pick up instruments as teenagers back in 1987. Pop punk is by nature a formulaic beast, and too many aging bands out there are clearly still playing only because they don't know what the hell else to do with themselves. For those bands, the zeal is long gone. But the Souls bring a passion and exuberance to their shows -- and enough innovation to their recordings -- to keep it interesting for themselves as well as fans. In fact, last year's The Gold Record, the band's seventh full-length (and fifth on heavyweight punk label Epitaph), is among its best outings to date. The album was so well-received that the group nabbed a spot on the entire Vans Warped Tour this past summer. Maybe being elder statesmen isn't such a bad thing.
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