Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Video: The Bouncing Souls, 'Lean On Sheena'

I have a bad habit of not finding videos on YouTube until long after they are first put up. This one (from 31st March, 2007) I just discovered at the weekend, and it is the music video for the single from the Bouncing Souls' excellent Gold Record, released in 2006. The Bouncing Souls are still one of my favourite bands - ever since first hearing What I Did On My Summer Vacation several to many years ago - with their supremely energetic, life-affirming and slightly Springsteenesque pop-punk, originating from a long lifetime of playing frenetic, silly hardcore and somehow culminating in beautiful, artistic songs which are none the less down-to-earth. Here, in a little over three minutes, it is expressed in one of their best - though not original, as is explained below - songs.

'Lean On Sheena' isn't my favourite Souls song overall because firstly, it's a cover, and secondly, it just isn't. But it's definitely one of their most enjoyable songs to listen to, and it is put to record very well. The original is from the self-titled first album of Avoid One Thing, released in 2002. Avoid One Thing, according to Wikipedia, was a side project for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones' bassist Joe Gittleman, who wrote and recorded most of the material. Released on Side One Dummy, it's a not particularly ground-breaking but still surprisingly strong punk-pop record - reminds me a bit of Unitas, coincidentally the side project of Hot Water Music bassist Jason Black. I haven't heard their second album, 2004's Chopstick Bridge, yet but I hear it's quite good also. Avoid One Thing is very good solid punk-pop, just not Bouncing Souls-good.

An extra reason for posting this video was for continuing the spirit of live posts with something a little more punk. 'Lean On Sheena' was one of the best songs - in terms of performance and of crowd reaction - that they played in their show here in Dublin a couple of years ago. I remember having already picked out as a favourite from the album - it's a real singalong, even by usual Souls standards - and live, it didn't disappoint.

As far as the video goes, it's a pretty fair representation of the song, although the opening looks a bit too much like an intro to Cold Case, the song is a lot more directly acted out than I possibly would have liked, and it seems a bit emo'd up. All has to be forgiven, however, when you consider it along with this song (my favourite of theirs, or near enough):

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