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Thomas Nassiff 02/16/11 12:49 AM

Bayside - Killing Time
 
Bayside - Killing Time
Record Label: Wind-Up Records
Release Date: February 22, 2011


There's something that a lot of bands in today's music scene don't have. It's a combination of things, really. It's the consistency to be great, even good, over a considerable length of time, coupled with the guts and killer instinct to try out new things, to stretch boundaries and challenge themselves as musicians.

Bayside is a band that has that combination. With the release of its fifth studio full-length since 2004, Bayside has once again proven the notion that bands can keep the same sound they've had for years while still growing and putting out refreshingly worthwhile records. Killing Time takes the sound that the band focused on with 2008's Shudder and mixes in glimpses of great Bayside records of years past. There are certain audible glimpses throughout the course of the 10-track record where fans familiar with Bayside's earlier work will pick out parts where Bayside sounds like its old self, and parts where fans will notice that the band is trying something they've never done before.

All the while, Killing Time never once sounds recycled, rehashed, or redone. Opener "Already Gone" is a blisteringly paced kick-start to the record, followed immediately by lead single "Sick, Sick, Sick," a catchy and lyrically scathing number that will have you pogo-ing in your living room. "Mona Lisa" is full of sweeping key changes, as you'll have to try your hardest to not sing along when Anthony Raneri belts out, "You're bed's been made / Now go die in it."

Only three songs into the record, listeners realize that Bayside has kept its wonderful core sound. Anthony Raneri's legendary abrasive lyrics accompany his undeniably distinctive vocals, while Jack O'Shea melts your face off with brilliant lead guitar work and Chris Guglielmo paces everything with pounding drum beats. It's a formula that is tried and true, that has launched Bayside into an elite level of bands in the last decade or so, and something that shouldn't be, and rightfully wasn't, changed.

The middle of the record is where the album puts some meat on its bones, most notably with "It's Not A Bad Little War" and "Seeing Sound." The former is a relatively uplifting track, where Raneri sings, "We are our only chance in the world / If faith should fail us then hope will see us through." The themes present on Killing Time aren't too in-depth or out of the norm for what you might expect from Bayside, but this band has steadily improved on the lyrical front as it has released more music and Killing Time is no exemption from that rule. "Seeing Sound" proves to be the standout track on the album, as an absolutely dominating guitar riff takes over the introduction, pacing matters for a slew of one-liners from Raneri. Here, the melody takes center stage, highlighting one of the catchier numbers in this band's catalog. The song hits its climax when Raneri spits out, "Heartbreak's a trend these days / But I could care less / I've never been that trendy anyways."

While I don't usually feel comfortable quoting this many lyrics, Bayside is the sort of band that requires an exception. "The Wrong Way" immediately follows "Seeing Sound" and starts off by punching listeners right in the earhole with this gem: "I've seen you bite your nails in guilty thought / Thought you couldn't care less till I saw those paws / Let's say you took a bit for every lie you told / You would have run out of fingers and started on your toes." There's a freshness, an irresistible quality and attraction to lyrics like these that certain people won't be able to get past, and those are the people who will agree with me when I say that Bayside has, with Killing Time, released its most impressive and timeless record.

"On Love, On Life" slows things down for a bit, giving the listener a breather from the furious tempo that infects most of the record. The closing duo of "The New Flesh" and the title track are edgy pop punk done right in all its glory. The only thing that stops Raneri from taking center stage for himself with quality chorus after quality chorus is the band's instrumentation. This isn't exactly a problem that listeners should be upset with, as O'Shea's contribution on the guitar is something for the ages on this record. With impressive harmonics and riff-tastic pieces strewn all across Killing Time, it complements Raneri's vocals perfectly. The closing title track is a perfect example, as Bayside is the perfect platform for O'Shea to unleash his fury on the masses via dark and fundamentally technical guitar work.

Killing Time may very well be this band's opus. It's hard for me to say that, because The Walking Wounded is an extremely adored record both to me personally and to a lot of diehard Bayside fans. But with every individual member at the top of their individual game, they have fused to create an album that can't and won't be ignored in 2011. While a variety of bands are reuniting and putting out long-awaited records this year, Bayside is a rock of solid consistency in a landscape where consistency is an increasingly lost cause.

Recommended If You LikeOld Bayside. Really that's the only appropriate recommendation because this band has a sound to itself.
Follow Me On TwitterI now tweet live results of the University of Florida men's and women's tennis matches as I cover the teams for the school newspaper.
Bare Essentials1. Already Gone
2. Sick, Sick, Sick
3. Mona Lisa
4. It's Not A Bad Little War
5. Sinking and Swimming on Long Island
6. Seeing Sound
7. The Wrong Way
8. On Love, On Life
9. The New Flesh
10. Killing Time
Produced By: Gil Norton, Run Time: 36 minutes
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 all the way.
AP.net Profile (Streaming "Already Gone")
iTunes Preorder

Thomas Nassiff 02/16/11 12:51 AM

I didn't find a place to mention it, but the production of this record is nearly flawless.

gagematt 02/16/11 01:04 AM

Awesome review. Can't wait for this to come in the mail!

Jonathan Bautts 02/16/11 01:07 AM

Nice job. I pretty much agree with everything you said and yes the production is golden.

Gin 02/16/11 01:12 AM

I already had high expectations, but this record blows my mind.

rushour144 02/16/11 01:16 AM

So excited for this coming tuesday. Great review... I knew Bayside would NEVER disappoint!

cwhit412 02/16/11 01:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Nassiff (Post 85243091)
I didn't find a place to mention it, but the production of this record is nearly flawless.


You said Mono Lisa. Just so you know.

Thomas Nassiff 02/16/11 01:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cwhit412 (Post 85243431)
You said Mono Lisa. Just so you know.

lol mono lisa. that's quality stuff right there.

cwhit412 02/16/11 01:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Nassiff (Post 85243521)
lol mono lisa. that's quality stuff right there.


It ruined the otherwise excellent review for an incredible album. No credibility.

Olle.89 02/16/11 01:37 AM

love it but have just give it 4 listen throws..will probably end up being my favorite Bayside record to date

ReadyForAction 02/16/11 01:41 AM

I stopped watching Metalocalypse to read this, I hope you're happy

Thomas Nassiff 02/16/11 01:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ReadyForAction (Post 85243652)
I stopped watching Metalocalypse to read this, I hope you're happy

Knowing that you read my words makes me happier than when Jar Jar Binks found out he was safe from the enormous glowing sea creatures in the waters of Naboo. I'm all about these Star Wars references today.

gr33ndayfr3ak 02/16/11 01:46 AM

Definitely agreed on almost all points here. Jack's guitar work has always been great, but he really sounds incredible on this record. Anthony's lyrics and vocals sound better than ever.
Definitely a contender for AOTY for me, even though there's a lot to come still this year.

trevorshmevor 02/16/11 01:50 AM

Don't agree with "Seeing Sound" being a standout song, but I do agree with the rest of this review. I enjoy the record, it's the first I've really liked a lot since the self-titled.. nice job, Bayside!

starseed 02/16/11 02:29 AM

I hope Wind-Up promotes the fucking hell out of this band, although I get the sense that Wind-Up has had some difficulties of late.

ReadyForAction 02/16/11 02:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Nassiff (Post 85243672)
Knowing that you read my words makes me happier than when Jar Jar Binks found out he was safe from the enormous glowing sea creatures in the waters of Naboo. I'm all about these Star Wars references today.

I support this the same way the Trade Federation supported Darth Sidious

2LW 02/16/11 03:05 AM

Really don't care about scores, but I liked the review. This album rules.

ched zeppelin 02/16/11 03:38 AM

You also forgot to mention the artwork is sick!!!

themagicrat 02/16/11 04:03 AM

I'm kind of disappointed by this one. I think this record is completely over produced.

brandon_260 02/16/11 04:14 AM

I'm waiting for the album to come out to listen, but it's one of my most anticipated

Steeeve Perry 02/16/11 04:19 AM

I used to think I just liked you because:
A. I love Flight of the Conchords, and
B. You introduced me to The Upsides.
However, you are a great writer. I think I've read you are studying writing and, as a journalist, I must say your work is great and oft-improving.

CH!MP 02/16/11 04:19 AM

this is decent but people on this sight never seem to mention that these guys write similar-sounding songs. It's why I couldn't get into their last album after the first few tracks and it's the same with this album. Just my view. The production is great though.

Ryan Gardner 02/16/11 04:37 AM

Great review, Thomas. This album is great.

jpd19125 02/16/11 05:00 AM

whats up with the astronaut? tribute to brand new?

xent 02/16/11 05:08 AM

this is the first time i heard a whole bayside album and it don't disappoint me..it is good!

mms13 02/16/11 05:31 AM

I love this album! These guys deserve way more recognition than they're getting.

mms13 02/16/11 05:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by themagicrat (Post 85244602)
I'm kind of disappointed by this one. I think this record is completely over produced.

what?

bdonne07 02/16/11 05:46 AM

unless his fury on the masses = UNLEASH his fury on the masses

Great review Thomas. I streamed it yesterday twice through and liked it a lot (it really does blend their old albums). I can tell you know your Bayside, so as a fellow diehard, I appreciate that.

Momo32T 02/16/11 05:49 AM

Great review Thomas. I definitely agree about the opening lines to "The Wrong Way", probably the most beautifully harsh lyrics Anthony has ever written.

I can't say that this record is flawless, especially with the production. I feel some parts are over-polished, but I think that overall Gil Norton was a positive influence on the album. There are times where I think Jack's riffs blend together, especially on "Seeing Sound" and "The Wrong Way". While they are fantastic guitar parts, I do feel in some ways that The Walking Wounded was more experimental than this album is.

But then again, I think this album will stand out better to me over time. Shudder initially didn't grab my attention like other albums did, but now I find that it is a staple in their discography. I am very curious to see how the b-sides turned out. Bayside was never really a band to have them until now, except the one that was on Shudder.

themagicrat 02/16/11 05:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mms13 (Post 85245631)
what?

I feel like the production on this record removed the edge that Bayside has always had. They just seem too smooth and too polished for me on this record.

jusscali 02/16/11 05:57 AM

Record rules, but I completely disagree with the stand out tracks. Sick, Sick, Sick and Seeing Sound are definitely at the way bottom for me.

mms13 02/16/11 05:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by themagicrat (Post 85245991)
I feel like the production on this record removed the edge that Bayside has always had. They just seem too smooth and too polished for me on this record.

I mean the production is definitely better than their previous albums but I wouldn't call it 'over-produced'. I did pick up on the added tambourines and shit like that but I don't think it takes any edge away from bayside.

bobthebaker81 02/16/11 06:40 AM

in otherwords, its awesome.

xonlyxashesx 02/16/11 07:10 AM

I am a little disappointing with this album, I expected it to be a bit harder sounding, or at least more like a throw back to sirens and condolences. But it is still a very good album and I can't wait to get it in the mail next week.

BTW @ the added trombones and "over production" comment. We saw that in the Walking Wounded and Shudder. It's just them growing as musicians and the record company putting more money in their records which is kind of a good thing, imo.

jdr277 02/16/11 07:11 AM

When I heard the first 3 songs before the album was out I was worried they had already shown us the best of the album... I WAS WRONG! The entire album is amazing like every other one and the singles didn't ruin the experience at all. Glad it's such an upbeat album (perfect for the gym.) This is the only band I know to release 5 solid albums flawlessly. No wonder Bayside is a cult.

billysurvive 02/16/11 07:18 AM

Great review. Made me even more excited to hear the album.

brent_ster 02/16/11 07:21 AM

Amazing record and a excellent review for it, great job as usual Thomas your reviews are my favourite on this site. You really hit the hammer on the nail most of the time.

gonfreaks 02/16/11 07:39 AM

Great review for a fantastic album. Absolutely the album of the band's career so far.

CoopDawg 02/16/11 07:42 AM

My favorite Bayside record by far.

SmallFrailBoy 02/16/11 07:47 AM

Solid review, Thomas! I agree with the score entirely. I think this is one of their best albums (might even top The Walking Wounded in my book). And the production sounds better than any of their other albums. And the lyrics aren't nearly as depressing and petulant as Shudder.

kristanxmarie 02/16/11 07:51 AM

Great album, great review.

Matt Chylak 02/16/11 07:55 AM

this is the only Bayside record I've listened to other than the self-titled. really good, though his voice has changed a lot

mattlol 02/16/11 07:58 AM

absolutely fantastic album. i'd like to say it's already a contender for album of the year but as we all know, march alone is going to bring yellowcard, the strokes, panic, and rise against among others, so i guess time will tell. torn over whether to see these guys or NFG at soundwave festival next week. i've already seen NFG, and will probably end up watching them again, but i'm thinking i will regret it later on in the year when this album has grown on me more.

Yellowcard2006 02/16/11 08:07 AM

Damn I'm so stoked to hear this album I might explode. Great review, can't wait to pick it up next week.

seraph1214 02/16/11 08:09 AM

Really think that with more listens, this could possibly overtake The Walking Wounded for me.

brandonbrutal 02/16/11 08:16 AM

I listened to this album three times, and it shreds. An amazing album, but it just won't beat the walking wounded

Thomas Nassiff 02/16/11 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steeeve Perry (Post 85244781)
I used to think I just liked you because:
A. I love Flight of the Conchords, and
B. You introduced me to The Upsides.
However, you are a great writer. I think I've read you are studying writing and, as a journalist, I must say your work is great and oft-improving.

Thank you sir!
Quote:

Originally Posted by bdonne07 (Post 85245872)
unless his fury on the masses = UNLEASH his fury on the masses

Great review Thomas. I streamed it yesterday twice through and liked it a lot (it really does blend their old albums). I can tell you know your Bayside, so as a fellow diehard, I appreciate that.

Thanks, gonna change it.

ACA 02/16/11 08:31 AM

This is a good album. For the first time, though, I feel like the band has regressed instead of moved forward.

Where did Jack's shredding go?

Anthony has never sounded so hollow. The production on this album is so lame that it actually hurts his vocals.

It's the band's shortest effort, which is strange considering the song structure for most of the album. Interesting how that happened.

The two singles, "Already Gone" and "Sick, Sick, Sick" are so flat it's painful. Once you've seen how the band pulls these songs off, you'll want to cry at how they went down on tape. Again, seems to be an issue with production.

These are just first impressions, I've only had the album for a week. I'd say it probably goes down like this...

Walking Wounded > Bayside > Shudder > Sirens > Killing Time

I can't think of one area where they've improved on with this CD, which is so disheartening.

ACA 02/16/11 08:33 AM

Also, who plays keys in this band? How is this going to work live, if they touch that song?

tommy's ghost 02/16/11 08:42 AM

"Opus" means work.