Bayside Ė Killing Time
Record Label: Wind-Up Records
Release Date: February 22nd 2011
Iíll never forget the first bands I got into when I discovered that there was music beyond pop radio; I was around 13 or 14 when I first got into music, and thatís a rather late age, but better late than never, right? NY pop-punk/punk band Bayside is one of the first bands I ever got into growing up. Iím almost 20 now, and in teenage years, seven years is a lifetime because so much changes over the course of your teenage years. Despite that, I first discovered Bayside through compilation record that Alternative Press Magazine released in 2007, which was my freshman year of high school, which was a back to school compilation that featured b-sides, rarities, and just a few songs in generals of various bands of various genres. The compilation featured a few acoustic tracks, with an acoustic version of Baysideís ďDear Your Holiness,Ē from 2007ís The Walking Wounded. I still have my copy of that album today and itís one of my favorites. I donít like it as much as I used to, but I do enjoy it, nonetheless.
After this record came out, I didnít really keep up with the band too much. In that time, theyíve released two records, 2008ís Shudder, and 2011ís Killing Time, which is the record that Iíll be reviewing today by them. Iíve seen a copy of Killing Time at my local Walmart for $9 for awhile, and itís always caught my eye, but something else always came up on my radar instead. Well, I finally bought it, and I wasnít terribly surprised with it when I finally listened to it after I put it on my computer. Itís essentially a 36-minute pop-punk/punk rock record. I liked The Walking Wounded because it was a bit more than that, but this record seems to not be a step backward, but rather, just be more straightforward. Thatís what the resulting record is; itís very straightforward, but itís still Bayside at its core. If the instrumentation enough doesnít scream ďThis is Bayside,Ē vocalist and lyricist Anthony Raneri is the heart of the band, and heís a very distinct vocalist and lyricist alike. His voice is rather nasally, but itís not nasally to the point where itís awful. He can sing, and his voice is very honest, sincere, and just powerful all the way around. His lyrics, too, are also what makes him, and the rest of the band, stand out among the rest of the pop-punk/punk genre. His lyrics tend to be a mix of political, religious, and emotional imagery and commentaries. His lyrics are what made me become a fan of the first place, and theyíre my favorite part of The Walking Wounded, so I was not surprised that I would enjoy this just as much, if not a bit more. The record cover also really caught my eye, because itís an astronaut sitting in a diner. Itís just a really weird album cover, but yet it works. So, without further ado, letís not kill anymore time, and get on with this review, shall we?
The record begins with ďAlready Gone,Ē and this song immediately kicks the record off; itís loud, aggressive, and itís purely Bayside. This is a band that does have a sound all their own. Theyíre certainly not a generic band, considering they have been around for a very long time. Vocalist Anthony Raneri takes the reigns of the song while guitarist Jack OíShea takes the lead with a gnarly guitar riff. The difference between this record and The Walking Wounded (which is the last record I listened to by them) is that record is a lot longer and the songs are a lot more expansive. This album knows what it is right from the start. Itís a very straightforward pop-punk/punk record thatís only about 36 minutes. Itís a rather short record, but it packs a huge punch. Second track ďSick, Sick, SickĒ is the only song I really knew from this album, and I remember it quite well. Thereís a chanting of ďsick sick sick!Ē in the verses and pre-chorus, and itís really cool. I donít usually like it when bands do this, but with Bayside, it does work. Third track ďMona LisaĒ is another really awesome song, and itís one of my favorites off the entire record. Itís a bit slower, but it packs just as much of a punch. Thereís also a really nice guitar solo in the middle of the song as well.
After that song is where the record starts to get interesting for me; a lot of the songs sound very similar, and thatís the problem with bands like this, where their sound is great, but the songs do tend to sound rather similar. A few tracks stand out for me, such as fourth track ďItís Not a Bad Little War,Ē and ďSeeing Sound.Ē The one track that really does stand out to me is eighth track ďOn Love, On Life.Ē That song is much more acoustic laden and stripped down, so it shows off Raneriís voice a bit more. Itís a highlight for sure, because it shows the band in a different light, and itís a bit different from the rest of the record. The last two tracks, though, pick up right where that track left off. The album ends on a nice note, specifically because it ends with the title track, so thatís a nice way to end the record. Basically, Bayside is a band that has a really awesome sound, and knows what theyíre doing. They havenít released a record in a couple of years, while Raneri has released solo material in 2012; nonetheless, Iím definitely excited for whatever theyíre going to release next.