A few weeks ago I accompanied my husband to his 20th class reunion even though I avoided my own last year. The reason why was repeated over and over through the course of the evening, many times by my own husband. "If only I could go back, knowing now what I knew then."
I tend to feel more like the sentiment expressed in the first single from Bowling For Soup's The Great Burrito Extortion Case. "High School Never Ends" is a pop-punk rant against the nation's fascination with pop culture, likening it to the obsessive cliques in high school. It declares Brad Pitt the quarterback of the football team, Reese Witherspoon the prom queen, and Bill Gates the captain of the chess team, and is rather put off by the fact the "high school" attitudes they thought were left behind exist bigger than life in the real world.
Bowling for Soup hail from Denton, Texas and they're best known for their 2002 Grammy nominated song, "Girl All the Bad Guys Want," from their album Drunk Enough to Dance and their blockbuster radio hit "1985" from A Hangover You Don't Deserve. This, their ninth album, doesn't stray too far from these two albums. The Great Burrito Extortion Case takes a not-so-serious look at the every day emotions and problems most of us face, delivered with what can only be described as "emo with a smile" style, or heavily pop-influenced punk. True punkers may take offense at that characterization, but I can assure you that Bowling for Soup doesn't care what others think.
At least in song, Bowling for Soup is tired of all the depressed lyrics and mood associated with emo and punk music; in the song "I'm Gay" (they mean the roaring '20s definition of the word) they sing "Don't hate us 'cause we're happy." With a riff that strongly resembles "Dirty Little Secret," they bash the music of the tortured soul. They observe it's "super-cool to be mad these days," and declare, "It's perfectly fine to be a happy individual." If you see humor in America's youth wearing all black and wearing their depression on their sleeves, I promise the song – and the album – will give you a smile.