The Complete Control Sessions is a series of live recording that are being released by SideOneDummy records. The plan is to get a bunch of punk rocks most talented bands, record them live in studio and release the music on vinyl and digital download. The first band to get their Complete Control recording session released is The Bouncing Souls.
Now if you’ve ever seen The Bouncing Souls live (or heard them live on CD) you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this EP. If you haven’t, you may be surprised, as I was the first time I saw them play at Warped Tour several years ago. Greg Attonito has a very unique singing voice and I really didn’t think that he could pull it off in a live setting, especially in a massive outdoor setting like the Warped Tour but I was wrong. Vocally and musically the Bouncing Souls sound just as good, if not better, in concert than they do on CD.
For their Complete Control Session, the Souls chose songs that spanned the majority of their long career. The oldest song, “The Guest,” was originally released on their first CD, “The Good, The Bad and The Argyle” back in ’94 and the most recent track, “Highway Kings,” came from their ’03 album, “Anchors Aweigh”. We are also treated to new versions of “Freaks, Nerds and Romantics”, crowd favorite “Gone” and the seldom played live “The Fall Song”. But the high point of this EP is the inclusion of “Hybrid Moments”, a cover of a Misfits song that features Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio singing backup vocals. The Bouncing Souls have been playing “Hybrid Moments” at their live shows for a while now but this is the first time they have the chance to sit down and record their version of it.
All of these songs sound good and the Bouncing Souls stay pretty faithful to the original versions. A few of the tracks seem slowed down somewhat but thats the only really noticeable difference. I liked the song selection well enough, “Gone” and “Hybrid Moments” are awesome but if it was me I would have left room for the song “True Believers” (possibly my favorite song by them) or maybe a track from their latest release “Ghosts On The Boardwalk” but thats just my opinion.
As I said earlier, the album comes in two formats, a limited (and almost sold out) 10 inch vinyl version is available through SideOneDummy.com and Chunksaah.com and a digital version is available on iTunes, which has a seventh track, an interview by Joe Sib of a couple of the band members. The interview also can be obtained by redeeming the download card that comes inside the vinyl.