New Jersey punks the Bouncing Souls have been a band for more than 30 years, and they’ve mentored entire generations of bands in their own New Brusnwick scene. If you’re a punk of a certain age, there’s a very chance that the Bouncing Souls’ heart, emotive, sometimes-goofy hard-bleat singalongs will absolutely smash your inner nostalgia button, taking you back to an era where you might’ve spent the drive to a show frantically trying to think of a good quote from an ’80s movie so that you could scream it into the mic during “These Are The Quotes From Our Favorite ’80s Movies.” (I’d always planned to go with “if you deceive us again, child, we’ll tear your soul apart,” but I could never get close enough to the mic.)
The Bouncing Souls haven’t released an album since 2016’s Simplicity, but they were supposed to spend the summer touring hard. (I was going to see them earlier this month with Strike Anywhere and Leftover Crack, and I was fired the fuck up.) That’s obviously not happening now. Instead, the band has just announced that they’ve signed with Pure Noise Records, and they’ve dropped a new single to let us know that they can still write a fucking song.
The new jam “World On Fire,” written and recorded during the early days of the pandemic, is a lyrically vague lament about how the world is really fucked up right now. You probably won’t pull a lot of useful insight from it. That’s fine. It’s more important that the song just rules. “World On Fire” isn’t the Bouncing Souls’ usual muscular punk. Instead, it’s basically a warm, tender power-pop song with a gigantic Springsteenian howl-along chorus. I really like it. You can hear it below.
“World On Fire” is out now on the streaming services.