Bowling For Soup Are Back! Oh thats eh, great?

Vile, vulgar, simple, immature, unfunny, putrescent, dire, girls, bad, guys, want etc are just some of the words which pop into ones head at the mention of the punk-pop lay-abouts that are Bowling For Soup. With the release of their new album 'The Great Burrito Extortion Case' the question of every post-pubescent music lover was always going to be “Do we really need, or deserve more of this?” Steve McCaul gives us the surprising answer.

I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry when this came through my door. I only vaguely recognised the name. Could one of the pseudo-Blink 182 bands of a good few summers ago actually be returning with a new album? Last I heard they were touring with Wheatus (of ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ fame) and Son of Dork (the ‘other one’ from Busted’s shameful resurrection) and with one glance at the tracklisting, with such inspiring titles as ‘I’m Gay’ and ‘Love Sick Stomach Ache (Sugar Coated Accident)’ I was convinced I’d found a new Frisbee.

Perhaps by luck, I didn’t totally disregard it and – believe it or not – it’s not all that bad! If anything, it can be at least described as 'fun'; There's nothing serious or thought provoking here; clearly its main aim is to make you smile. Musically it’s nothing complicated and equals to very lazy listening. The most noteworthy point comes in the presence of some string composition (‘When We Die’), which actually sounds rather sophisticated. Lyrically however, it can be, at times, slightly annoying. Apart from the usual collection of bad teenage poetry there's an irritating excess of movie star name drops that I struggle to see the connection to. The album is also guilty of producing one of the worst lines on record (the cringingly awful “you both suck dot com” from ‘Luckiest Loser’).
On the flipside, at times it manages to be incredibly self-affirming. The previously mentioned ‘I’m Gay’ informs us that it’s alright to be happy and caring whilst not taking things too seriously; while ‘Much More Beautiful Person’ drives home that, despite what you think of yourself, you’re always a better person than you think you are. There’s no malice in this album and it’s clearly aimed at younger teenagers struggling with conformity; and to be perfectly honest, this has to be healthier than bands who are “promoting self harm and suicide” (see the Daily mail) – certain teenage cultures could obviously do with raising a smile.
This collection of songs is not going to appeal to many over the age of 14, however it can’t be denied that as a piece of nonsensical 'not-taking life too seriously' piece of work, it's perfect for that hot summer’s day with a barbeque and a cold beer. No, seriously.

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