Bowling For Soup - Sorry For Partyin'
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Record Label: Jive Records
Has there ever been an album cover that so ironically captured the career path of a band? Love your guys' stuff, especially that Gabe Saporta interview! Keep it up!
Dear website patron,
Look at the upper left-hand corner of this review article. You're welcome.
Good-natured fun is always appreciated, right? Even in the music world, bands who like to "have a good time" are often rewarded with notable success and find they are the sort of groups people can laugh at and never take completely serious ("Ohhhh, those guys!"). Disco had it's time to shine in the 1970's, Poison and a handful of hair-metal acts did it in the late 80's and nu-metal bands clogged up TRL for a short amount of time before neon got all popular. Hailing from Denton, Texas, Bowling For Soup have never been known as 'artistes,' but their entire sound and personality have been constructed upon the facet that pop-punk can go hand in hand with a dumb sense of humor. The goofball album titles/covers combined with a few silly songs and sweet ballads gave the band a good amount of success in the first half of the millennium, and after their last album failed to garner much acclaim, the band took their time to record a follow-up. But even Harry and Lloyd can agree that sometimes dumb is too dumb.
Why is that? Oh, I don't know. Maybe it's because we now have four grown men swimming in a toilet bowl, singing songs that are about the equivalent of a Geico commercial (i.e. so unfunny it's offensive). Here is a band that is still trying to get all the kids to laugh at that same joke they told twice, got a few chuckles from, and are continuing to ride that wave all the way to Pleasuretown. Unfortunately, the groupies are long gone and only Seth MacFarlane is sticking around for an encore.
Sorry For Partyin' wants to be tongue-in-cheek but ultimately comes across of smug, juvenile and feels like it has been recorded specifically for those with mental retardation. "Hooray for Beer"? Oh, I get it -- you're good-lovin' dudes from Texas in your late-30's, still gettin' drunk and swimmin' in the kiddie pool! HAR-DEE HAR-HAR! Who co-wrote these songs, Andy Dick?
"My Wena," the main offender for terrible taste, is a song that even the Bloodhound Gang would turn away, and "I Gotchoo" is a poor imitation of Sugar Ray, circa 1999. See, it isn't only their pop-culture references that are dated (any Viagra jokes here?). "America (Wake Up Amy)" wastes two perfectly good guest vocalists found in Scott Reynolds and Parry Gripp (both from much better and well-worn bands with a sense of humor, ALL and Nerf Herder), and it appears Jaret Reddick has seemingly lost all touch with sensible pop melodies and replaced them with monotonous immaturity that merely is no longer fun to listen to. Hey, after seven albums of little change, Bowling For Soup's appearances are about as welcome as Steve Urkel hanging out with Carlos Mencia and Gallagher during a "Two and a Half Men" taping.
Bowling For Soup is now just a big gimmick, and after "1985" catapulted them to mainstream notoriety, the slow descent began ... and it's not easy to slap your hand from the stop button (maybe your trash can has an iPod it'd like to upload this disc to?). "BFFF" and "Me With No You" are cheeseball sing-alongs for fans of tepid pop-rock and "Love Goes Boom" might just be one of the most asinine songs ever written by the band. "I Can't Stand L.A." is a reasonably merry blast on the very mainstream success the band has enjoyed and been involved with (and it pretty much follows the same formula "1985" and "High School Never Ends" did), and "Really Cool Dance Song" makes a valid attempt at poking fun, but really just feels hypocritical. Humor is supposed to contain bite, and on record #7, it feels like the band are using false teeth ("Whoa, you look like Austin Powers!").
Bowling For Soup have always been a guilty pleasure content on offering music you don't have to think about, but this time around, they're trying to draw attention to themselves with the fine art of wearing a dunce cap or wearing a t-shirt with an ironic quote on it. Forget trying to balance their ne'er-do-well humor with some actual artistic merit -- namedropping trends, celebutards and bathroom humor win this battle, man! The only partying Bowling For Soup will be joining in the coming months will be one overrun by pity.
Partyin' is a dramatically painful effort in bad taste, an album so unappealing and putrid, it pushes the limits and tests the boundaries of suitable humor in pop-punk & audience intelligence. Like an accompanying soundtrack to Mike Myers' next showcasing of redundant potty humor, this is about as notoriously bottom-of-the-barrel as you can reach. Keeping all that in mind, well, Sorry For Partyin' just isn't an acceptable apology.
Don't ask me why but I <3 Chevelle. Most people never expect that out of me, but it's true.
I am a bit surprised, but I have always enjoyed them too. Personally find their new album to be a bit of the same mixed with a nice tranquility they haven't displayed too often. Better than the bands they usually get lumped in with.