ALBUM REVIEWS


Bowling For Soup
THE GREAT BURRITO EXTORTION CASE
JIVE RECORDS 19.1.07
@www.vanguard-online.co.uk



"Epiphany" is the first song on the album and seems a bit of a slow opener for a band like Bowling For Soup. It's a bit of a sad song about missing someone, but it still holds a lot of Bowling's recognisable humour in lyrics such as "I think they call it an epiphany/Man that's a big word." The most noticeable feature of this track is its chorus, perfect for singing along to.

The second track on the album is the first released single, "High School Never Ends". It's typical, catchy pop rock but you just can't resist it. The whole song is basically a moan about how the world is, full of stereotypes and underdogs.

Track three, "Val Kilmer", is all about movies. It references movies themselves, actors in movies and directors of movies as well as typical movie character moulds. It's pretty random, especially it’s most interesting line: "I hope someone squirts you with a watergun, a super soaker filled with pee." Brilliant.

"I'm Gay" is my favourite song from the entire album. As Jaret states before the song starts, it's bursting with personality. It's nice and upbeat, taking the mickey out of today's "sad" culture, how bands sell their records by writing sad and depressing songs. The title features heavily in the chorus in a call and response line. It's perfect. A hall full of people at a gig all shouting, "I'm gay!"? Beautiful! The la la's at the end are an added bonus.

“Why Don’t I Miss You” slows the album down a little. It's nice, but nothing too special. When they break into the chorus it sounds a little more intense, but overall this song has little to make it stand out.

"A Friendly Goodbye" makes great use of swearing without actually swearing at all. Lines such as "Ain't that a B with an itch" and "You can go to H E double hockey sticks and F yourself" are perfect examples. The song is also pretty catchy and fun to jump around to.

"Luckiest Loser" is about a demon ex-girlfriend who we think "might worship Satan". It’s a laugh to listen to, and makes you wonder why the guy ever went out with her in the first place. Another slow song with lots of melodic "ooos", "Love Sick Stomach Ache" is a song to wave your arms around to.

"Much More Beautiful Person" is another one of my personal favourites. It has a great melody throughout and the backing vocals are used effectively.

"Friends Like You" is making use of the phrase, with friends like you, who needs enemies? The friend in the song is useless, he "left the window open, and now the cat is gone" and "my girlfriend thinks you're really sweet". The best line is certainly, "With friends like you, who needs friends?!"

“When We Die” is a nice melodic song that uses Jaret’s vocals really well. It’s another slow song to wave your mobiles to.

"99 Biker Friends" is a jokey song with a few serious undertones. It's about a guy who abuses his girlfriend or wife, and boasts about it. Some of the lines are pretty serious, like "Takes a big man to slap her around", but humour is back with the title line, "And I've got 99 biker friends/Who wanna kick your ass".

"Don't Let It Be Love" is sincerely catchy and uses lots of repetition and backing vocals to make it so. The best line is "I'm much better with Wham! Bam! Thank you Ma'am!"

“If You Came Back To Me” isn’t particularly special, but it’s still a high standard to match the rest of the album. It’s about a break up, but wasn’t a great choice for the normal final track of the album. The Special Edition version of the album also has two bonus tracks after this song.

The first bonus is “Every Day’s A Saturday”, an upbeat song about how much we all love the weekend. It stands alone pretty well, but without the rest of the album behind it, I doubt it would stick in anyone’s mind for too long.

The second bonus track is "No Opinion". It's all about a really nice girl who just wants to please everyone. The problem is, it's impossible. This girl copies everyone around her, likes what they like, does what they do, just so she'll fit in with them. Lines like "Don't ask her what her favourite colour is if she knows you like brown" portray this perfectly. There are plenty of people like that around at the moment.

Overall, this album is hilarious. If you look closer, pretty much all of the songs could have deeper, more sincere meanings behind them… But it’s Bowling For Soup, so the likelihood of actual meaning in the songs is very low. Its fun, it’s catchy, it’s got a song for every day and every mood even if some of them are pretty similar. If you like happy pop punk, this is for you.

www.bowlingforsoup.com


Kat Humphries