The Bouncing Souls, who came together in New Brunswick in the late ’80s, are influenced by punk, but there’s a romantic streak to their music that makes them a forerunner to another, more recent Jersey band, the Gaslight Anthem.
“So Jersey” is one of the best examples of this. A track from their 2006 album, “The Gold Record,” it’s a tough-sounding but inspirational song about staying true to yourself and betting it all on music. The characters in it won’t be imprisoned by their pasts; they’re trying desperately to create something new, and can’t turn back.
In the third verse, frontman Greg Attonito stops singing about characters, and shifts to first person, plural: “Riots and corruption, beaches and Bruce/These songs were the keys to the engines of our growing up … Don’t forget we’re all one family/Thanks to the music in our lives for helping us to survive/Lost in one lonely dream, born to run and live free.”
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.