Bowling For Soup / Fishin’ For Woos / Sony
The very fact that this is pop punk group Bowling for Soup’s 11th studio album suggests a number of things. First, there really is no shortage of these kinds of tunes. Seriously, I think even the most steadfast and loyal fans would have trouble describing what it is about this collection of songs that makes them stand out as “essential 2011 BFS” and would prevent them from fitting on anything else BFS has released in the past few years. They put out six studio albums in the 2000’s, by the way – outpacing other Warped Tour mainstays like NOFX and Less Than Jake. So maybe this being their 11th album also suggests there’s a strong demand for what they’re doing. Another fun fact? This is the second consecutive album where the group has playfully dropped a “g” from a word in the title (after 2009’s Sorry for Partyin’). Sure, rock and rollers traditionally show some resistance to growing up – but are the guys in BFS getting less mature as they age?
It’s hard to imagine an easier sell for American radio stations than a song called “Girls in America” about how great American girls are. The only vaguely original part of the song is the sexual innuendo (“American girls I love how you blow me – away”) and, coming from the nearly-40-year-old Jaret Reddick, it comes off just a shade creepier than Wooderson in Dazed and Confused. Production is sharp and even has the band sounding like Bon Jovi on the heartfelt but hamfisted “What About Us”; when you’re stealing Weezer imagery from the Blue Album you might’ve run out of ideas. The brain-dead “S-S-S-Saturday” sounds a lot more like Rebecca Black’s “Friday” than most bands who have been together for nearly 20 years would feel comfortable performing. It’s clear the boys in BFS fancy themselves quite the humorists, but the gags heard on Fishin’ for Woos are far more likely to elicit groans or eye rolls than yucks.
Download: Their back catalogue.
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