Album Reviews: A Hangover You Don't Deserve (Clean) by Bowling for SoupBowling for Soup have hit on a formula so obvious, it's baffling that more bands aren't trying it. Merging the bratty, straightforward punk-pop of Green Day with the geeky charm of Barenaked Ladies and the insanely catchy songwriting of power popsters like Fountains of Wayne, these four self-deprecating lads from Wichita Falls, Texas make crunchy guitar anthems so smart and radio-friendly it's almost unfair. Those witless stiffs in blink-182 and Good Charlotte don't stand a chance against the snarky power pop onslaught they unleash of A Hangover You Don't Deserve.
Don't get me wrong; this isn't the band's Sgt. Pepper, and they probably don't have one in them. Bowling for Soup is not a band with hidden depths. Songs like "Trucker Hat," "Last Call Casualty," and "Next Ex-Girlfriend" are exactly what you'd expect them to be, showcases for guitarist Chris Burney's monster riffs and lead singer/songwriter Jaret Reddick's quirky sense of humor ("I don't wanna get inside your mind or your pants/I don't wanna waste my time with love and romance/I want my next ex-girlfriend"). Even when they flash a little more depth on "heavier" numbers like "Ridiculous," they never forget to give you a sunny chorus and a few thundering power chords to keep the mosh pit happy. This relentless adherence to the joys of three-chord rock is really the band's only weakness; at 17 tracks, plus two bonus tunes, the album starts to run out of steam about two thirds of the way through. Still, even if you can't listen to it in one sitting, this is one Hangover you won't mind having. - Andy Hermann
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