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Every The Bouncing Souls Album Ranked

The Bouncing Souls almost seem underrated among their peers. Maybe it’s because they’re from New Jersey and we as a nation have been conditioned from birth to dislike that state. But hey, there’s a Six Flags there, so how bad could it be? Anyway, it’s hard to believe but the Bouncing Souls have 12 studio albums, and we’re here to tell you the order in which they are good.

12. Volume 2 (2020)

This is technically a studio album, but it’s really more of a collection of stripped down unplugged versions of songs from earlier releases. Feels almost like one of those “Punk Goes Acoustic” compilations. It’s a nice little curveball, but putting this any higher would feel like ranking a greatest hits album. That’s poser behavior.

Play it again: “Hopeless Romantic”
Skip it: “Ghosts on Boardwalk”



11. Ghosts on the Boardwalk (2010)

Guitarist Pete Steinkopf once ranked this album last in an interview, so it seems right to put this one so low. It’s not bad. It’s just that when you’re listening to it you’re reminded that you could be playing their other more Pete-approved material instead.

Play it again: “I Think That the World…”
Skip it: “Airport Security”




10. Comet (2012)

I kind of wish the Bouncing Souls did that thing where their music gets noticeably worse with age for the sake of the guy who has to rank their albums. But unfortunately, they’re aging like a fine Miller High Life. “Comet” isn’t without flaws. Like for instance, there are only 10 songs on this thing. For a punk album, that’s not nearly enough. Fans need content, 16 should be the minimum.

Play it again: “Fast Times”
Skip it: “In Sleep”



9. Simplicity (2016)

I don’t have too many criticisms about this album, but one of these has to be their ninth-best. Some critics of this record will tell you that the band is trying to replicate some of their early 2000s success. I guess attempting to write incredible music that every fan loves is some sort of bad thing.

Play it again: “Driving All Night”
Skip it: “Gravity”




8. Ten Stories High (2023)

It’s rare for a band to be around for over 30 years, release more than 10 studio albums, and their latest one isn’t complete dog shit. In fact, this one is extremely solid. It’s a healthy sign that they still got it and will hopefully make another 12 records before they die. Or I die. Or we both join the same death cult and agree to die at the same exact time.

Play it again: “Ten Stories High”
Skip it: “To Be Human”



7. The Gold Record (2006)

This is probably the band’s most New Jersey of all their albums. This requires no further explanation. It also contains more harmonica than we’re used to, so this is considered their Blues Traveler era. But it still has that uplifting anthemic quality that had become the band’s signature. Hey, it’s even got a song about pizza. Something Misfits albums are severely lacking.

Play it again: “Letter From Iraq”
Skip it: “For All the Unheard”



6. The Good, the Bad, and the Argyle (1994)

“The Good, the Bad, and the Argyle” doesn’t seem to get a lot of love in the Bouncing community, but when your album contains classics like “Joe Lies” and “Neurotic” it should command respect. And if you’re ever looking to brush up on your ‘80s movie references and quotes, look no further than this album. This whole thing is like a soundtrack to a non-existent John Hughes movie.

Play it again: “Joe Lies (When He Cries)”
Skip it: “Inspection Station”


5. The Bouncing Souls (1997)

While other punk bands go the political statement route or the “aw shucks, my girlfriend broke up with me” emo look, The Bouncing Souls just want to have a good time. At least in some of their earlier stuff. This album is about riding your BMX through the streets of New York City, drinking beers, hanging out with Kate, eating all the Yoo-Hoos, having no idea what you want to do in life but not giving up hope, and throwing toilets off roofs. You know, a perfect Saturday.

Play it again: “East Side Mags”
Skip it: “I Like Your Eyes”

4. Hopeless Romantic (1999)

The Souls started a maturing phase with this one. By that I mean they started consistently writing songs over two minutes long. Turns out, they were good at that too. But they still had the ability to write those juicy short and sweet ones as well as shout-along classics like the title track. And the chorus in “Ole” will make you want to chant along with a close group of 100,000 of your closest friends in a soccer stadium.

Play it again: “Kid”
Skip it: “Undeniable”


3. Anchors Aweigh (2003)

Honestly, I’d rank these next three albums #1 if I could because they’re all essentially perfect, but unfortunately, that’s not how online music criticism works. Therefore, this album, while tied for first for personal reasons, is number three for internet content purposes. But really it’s first. And also third.

Play it again: “Sing Along Forever”
Skip it: Sad to report there are no skippable songs on this one. Believe me, I tried. Really hard too.



2. How I Spent My Summer Vacation (2001)

Feels like the band really figured something out on this one and just kept that energy going throughout their entire career. You could replace the “Star Spangled Banner” with “True Believers” as the National Anthem and I would be on board. At least I’d now know all the words to America’s theme song.

Play it again: “That Song”
Skip it: “Broken Record”




1. Maniacal Laughter (1996)

One of the most unique qualities about the Bouncing Souls is that they don’t have a singular album that’s the unanimous fan favorite. Some say this one. Others will tell you one of the previous two. Contrarians will even say “Comet.” That’s why there is no unity in the Bouncing community. Thanks a lot, you guys. Your music is so excellent that it confuses us all.

Play it again: “Lamar Vanoy,” “No Rules,” The Freaks, Nerds, and Romantics,” “Argyle,” “All of This and Nothing,” “The BMX Song,” “Quick Check Girl,” “Headlights…Ditch!” “Here We Go,” “Born to Lose,” “Moon Over Asbury,” “The Ballad of Johnny X”
Skip it: Skip that Fleetwood Mac album you’re listening to at this very moment and put on this one.