Mark Jenkins wrote about Bouncing Souls in October 2006 for The Washington Post:
At a time when new emo bands are going platinum, releasing an album titled "The Gold Record" makes the Bouncing Souls sound like underachievers. But after almost 20 years in the pop-punk biz, the New Jersey quartet is clearly not planning on any kind of breakthrough. This unsurprising but solid album is a reaffirmation of purpose and a rededication to the rapid, shout-along style refined in the mid-1980s by such bands as Dag Nasty and Bad Religion. As the Souls put it on "So Jersey": "Thanks to all the music in our lives / For helping us survive."
"The Gold Record" isn't entirely mired in the '80s. The Souls venture into current affairs with "Letter From Iraq" and add trumpet, accordion and acoustic guitar to "The Pizza Song," which has an easygoing feel but is actually about a stifling town that's ready to "burst open into driving burning exploding sound." The Souls' punchy version of the Kinks' "Better Things" is just one of the album's declarations of hope for the future, but this is still a band that runs on suburban frustration and adolescent discontent.
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