Saturday, April 30 2011 00:00


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61Q1-f5tuML. SL500 AA280 One of the bands mentioned back in February during my 2011: The Year that Pop Punk Strikes Back feature, BOWLING FOR SOUP have positioned themselves as a unique player in a packed field. While many of their peers have evolved into something far beyond their pop punk roots, BFS is unapologetic in carrying a torch for the light-hearted genre in which they've carved out a nearly two-decade niche. They're damn good at what they do, and for their diehard fans there's safety in knowing that the band will continue to deliver.

On FISHIN' FOR WOOS, their 11th(!) studio album, the band makes good with a solid set of straightforward rockers that sound like you've stepped back in time, and there's nothin' wrong with that. As with every BFS record, the lyrics are where much of the entertainment lies, and on 'WOOS they've become vastly self-aware that the band is essentially staffed with the old dudes of the scene now. There's nods to Weezer, Motley Crue, Husker Du/Bob Mould, and Tonic, along with the longevity of BFS as a band. I've Never Done Anything Like This features an appearance by the always-welcome Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo fame, and while it might be a year or two dated, Dear Megan Fox (iTunes bonus track) has a feel that brings to mind Size 14's Claire Danes Poster (a song covered once upon a time by BFS). Like The Force through a Skywalker, the 1990's flows through this record, consciously or not.

I've always suspected (though I don't have proof) that the guys in BOWLING FOR SOUP may have an easier time paying the rent/mortgage than some of their bigger-name, bigger-selling peers. Sure, they've had some big hits, but while the band may not have achieved the notoriety that they've deserved, they've done a great job with song placement on television and in motion pictures. Doing theme songs is good business, and you don't get to your eleventh album without doing something right.

Rating: 3.5/5

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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