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Rock On Honorable Ones

Bowling for Soup

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Album Review

The success of the slaphappy Hangover You Don't Deserve singles "1985" and "Almost" warrants this reissue of Bowling for Soup's first album, 1998's Rock On Honorable Ones!!! It was originally released on the tiny Texas label FFORE, but as the sticker on the front of Jive 's version says, it's "finally available to all non-Texans!" The BFS template is alive and thriving on Rock On — it's by-the-numbers bash 'n' pop-punk in the vein of Nerf Herder or Diffuser. But while fierce originality isn't their game, being fun and clever and avoiding filler certainly is. Jaret Reddick writes songs about insecurity, girls, and insecurity because of girls, and he's unabashedly first-person about it all. "I have no idea what I did," he says in the breakup song "Corndog," and then he polls the audience. "Let me ask you, do you think I was wrong?" It's an endearing trick, and gives Bowling for Soup's songs a weight they might not otherwise have. In this way the band suggests Boston's Mighty Mighty Bosstones, whose own style is a hyper mixture of charisma, honesty, punk, metal, and ska. (That comparison is even more apt for Rock On Honorable Ones!!!, since cuts like "2113" and "Belgium" make good use of a horn section.) "Scope," "Kool-Aid," and "Cody" are just rock songs with pieces snatched from Cheap Trick and punk rock. But Reddick wavers between lovable haplessness and dumbfounded luck, the songs are always jacked with high-volume guitar, and they hold up longer than you might expect. [BMG Japan's 2008 edition included one bonus track.]

Biography

Formed: 1994 in Wichita Falls, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Cheeky punk-pop outfit Bowling for Soup were formed in 1994 in Wichita Falls, Texas, featuring lead vocalist/guitarist Jaret Reddick, guitarist/vocalist Chris Burney, bassist Erik Chandler, and drummer Gary Wiseman. However, they didn't rise beyond local prominence until 1997, when a heavy touring schedule helped broaden their fan base and landed them opening spots for nationally prominent punk and ska bands. The following year, Bowling for Soup recorded a debut EP for the local FFROE label, titled...
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Rock On Honorable Ones, Bowling for Soup
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