Bowling For Soup - “Pop Drunk Snot Bread” Album Review

Story posted April 26, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Ethan Hetrick.

As they said in the very first song, Punk Rock is not dead.

Bowling For Soup started in 1994, but their roots stem back to before kindergarten. The band founders have known each other throughout childhood. The original four members were Jarret Reddick (vocals), Chris Burn (guitarist), Erik Chandler (bass) and Lance Morrill (Drums). Eventually, Chandler was replaced by another longtime friend Gary Wiseman in 1998.

Bowling For Soup started their career in 1994 but rose to fame in the 2000s with hit songs like “High School Never Ends,” “Ohio,” or most notably “1985.”

The band spent a lot of time touring and working on various projects like new albums, TV shows like “Phineas and Ferb,” or video game soundtracks for games such as “Sonic: Unleashed.”

In the 2010s, they limited all their projects to primarily focus on tours and drop smaller albums like a live album, “Older, Fatter, Still the Greatest Ever.” They also re-released albums with their top hits and cover songs.

In 2022, slightly over a decade since their last new album, Bowling For Soup released “Pop Drunk Snot Bread.”
Over time, most rock groups struggle to grow or hold an audience, but this band manages to hold onto older audiences while gaining new ones.

This album shows growth that a lot of major rock groups are struggling with. Noticeable examples are those like Weezer or Green Day, who both had unsuccessful album releases in the 2020s.

The first two songs made it seem like Bowling For Soup would follow the trend of 2000 rock groups dying out. The songs “Greatest of All Time” and “I Wanna Be Brad Pitt” sounded like a band that was trying too hard to hold onto the past with lyrics that were very unoriginal and basic pop-punk sounds.

Then arguably the best two songs of the album play. “Hello Anxiety” and “Getting Old Sucks (But Everyone’s Doing It)” showed growth from the band. They showed how the lead singers are growing up.

An important part of the band’s identity is talking about their experiences. “1985” showed how they viewed old people stuck in the past and how they do not want to get older.

Then, “High School Never Ends,” shows what it is like to be a young adult that feels like they are stuck in high school and the real world, in their words ‘just sucks.’

Those two areas of their music still appeal to different younger generations, but now this album, especially “Hello Anxiety” and “Getting Old Sucks (But Everyone’s Doing It),” shows them addressing how they are old and accepting it. They talk about their health issues like anxiety or how they cannot drink as much as they like due to destroying their stomachs.

There are still some songs that seem a bit out of place like “Alexa Bliss” which is a song about the singer having a crush on wrestler Alexa Bliss, but the album sticks to adult issues and has personal topics to the band.

Multiple songs look into their past and how thankful they are. Songs like “Wouldn’t Change a Thing” or “After All These Beers” exemplify this message.

“Wouldn’t Change a Thing” talks about how the band is proud of all their accomplishments and errors they made. That they simply “wouldn’t change a thing.”

“After All These Beers” explains that the band is thankful for one another and are amazed that they are still together after going on for so long, which can show all the time they spent with one another by drinking so many beers.

Former songs like “Ohio” talk about young love exploits, but now the songs talk about marriage and more adult love. “The Best We Can,” “Burn Out” and “June Carter Cash” all showed off this mature love.

“The Best We Can” is a slower song that says love is all about trying the best they can to make it work and that is all they can do.

“Burn Out” talks about bad love and how they outgrew one another because of opposing dreams even though they did care for one another.

“June Carter Cash” brings back the young love of finding each other drunk at a concert but then it evolves to them finding a soulmate and working well together.

The last category of songs they have is them trying to spread positive messages. Songs like “Killin’ ‘Em with Kindness” and “The Letter 3” exemplify positivity.

“Killin’ ‘Em with Kindness” is about how the world needs more kindness, and that people should be nicer to one another and be shown kindness even if it ironically kills them.

“The Letter 3” is all about overcoming stress and that no matter how dreadful things get, they will always get better.

The band cares so much for the message of positivity, in the middle of the album they have a PSA saying how the listener is loved and the world is a happier place with them in it.

The album gets so good that when “The Greatest of All Time (Reprisal)” plays, the listener gets sentimental as it ends.

Right behind the lyrics, the most important part of the album is how good it sounds. It sounds great. The album has the perfect mixture of fast punk rock to slower and more emotional rock sounds.

Despite the flawed opening, the album finds its footing and is a near modern rock masterpiece that hits hard with primarily older listeners, but can still draw in the younger audience and proves that punk isn’t dead.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “Wouldn’t Change a Thing,” “Growing Old Sucks (But Everyone is Doing It),” “Hello Anxiety”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Songs: “Greatest of All Time,” “I Wanna Be Brad Pitt”

 

Ethan Hetrick is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact him, email eth5186@psu.edu