Her name was Natalie. I’m sure she’s out there, living it up, and she is perhaps one of the coolest people I’ve ever met in my life. She was just real. I don’t know how else to say it, she was just real. I guess I had an opportunity to stick around in her life, but I walked away and she went her way, and that’s that. But before we left each other for another life, we took a simple drive up to San Lois Obispo. It was in a small main street drag that we popped into a record store. I don’t recall the name of it, but I do remember picking up this record for $5. It was used, but it was still in new condition, and I immediately remembered why I loved the Bouncing Souls.
This record has some of the catchiest songs from the band’s catalog. The first 5 songs in a row are anthems that will have you raising your fist and living a whole new life. “That Song”, “Private Radio”, “True Believers”, “Better Life”, and “The Something Special” are anthemic, melodic, and pure in their reach of punk rock and pop culture resonance. The rest of the tracks are good too, and they all lead up to perhaps one of the most appealing and poignant songs for me and anyone else that has ever had to walk away from a friend, or a situation and lives with some sort of remorse. “Gone” is one of those songs that sticks with you.
Even now, here in Indianapolis, I think about Natalie and what she must be doing. I tried to reconnect via Facebook a while ago, but she seemed short in replying, and we didn’t get much in the way of conversation. I’m sure it’s for the best. However, it was her driving me to SLO that reminded me that the Bouncing Souls put out one hell of a record in 2001, and that I needed to pick it up again. Even today, this record sounds as powerful and fresh as it was when I first heard it in 2001. Overall, it’s one of the best that they put out, melodic, speedy, and refreshing overall.