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Anthony Raneri - New Cathedrals Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7.75
Musicianship 7.75
Lyrics 7.5
Production 8.25
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8.25
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 79%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.4
Musicianship 9.4
Lyrics 9.5
Production 9.4
Creativity 9.4
Lasting Value 9.4
Reviewer Tilt 9.55
Average: 94%
Inside AP.net

Anthony Raneri - New Cathedrals

Reviewed by: Jason Gardner (01/26/12)
Anthony Raneri - New Cathedrals
Record Label - Gumshoe Records
Release Date - January 17, 2012


You’ve probably heard of Bayside. Assuming you have, you probably know Anthony Raneri is the frontman and one of two guitarists for the long-running rock group from New York. After a few full-lengths as one of the founding members of Bayside, Raneri finally found time to take a pause from the band’s hectic schedule to pursue his desire in recording what has been a long running interest of a solo record. New Cathedrals runs a reasonable gauntlet of sounds for an EP, all of which sound just as natural to the ears, and Raneri’s playing ability, as the often up-tempo creations of Bayside. Without any doubt, it is quite obvious to say that within the confines of this EP, Raneri definitely shows he can take his talents to the solo realm without qualm or disruption.

The five tracks here travel different paths for the most part, criss-crossing in few instances save for melodic structuring or, of course, Raneri’s smooth croon. Opener “Sandra Partial” features a sparkling chorus, ripe with Raneri’s familiar melody structures and catchy lyrical prowess (‘Distance, distance / Tell me that you miss this’). Much more in the vein of a neo-country jam, perhaps even folksy in nature, the slathering of twangy guitars fit his voice rather well. Not to be deliberate in structuring, “Charleston” hums with a playful doo-wop vibe in the bouncy guitars and pulsing piano pounding that anchor this track. Yet, almost without any need for adjustment or change in approach, Raneri’s voice fits here too – making us feel like we’re back in the days of drive-ins and diners.

“The Ballad of Bill The Saint” seems like a page taken straight out of Bayside’s book, framing Raneri with familiar melodies and punk-rock songwriting at the middle of this EP. This familiarity makes for a bit of a drawback on the track, not that it is bad, but that it seems so much like our usual taste of Bayside that its rather familiar nature throws off the mystique of things just a bit. A tangent in a different way, “Lead, Follow, Fall” finds us in the land of distorted guitars again, yet the addition of buzzing synth lines through the track helps pull us out of the comfort zone. This track also dabbles into pre-Bayside rock auras as well, with hints of Weezer-esqe melodies lining the mid-tempo jamming of this track. Ending on the acoustic-anchored “Please Don’t Leave”, we find the EP at its minimalist best. Save for some added percussion to spice up the mix, including an easygoing hand-made backbeat, this track is just Raneri and his guitar at his emotionally outpouring best. While there were certainly successes to be heard in earlier parts of New Cathedrals, our finale is stripped down to a campfire-ready core, leaving us with a down-home feel to the production and instrumentation of this track that caps off the EP with memorable simplicity.

New Cathedrals strays in several different ways, but at the foundation is a man who is at the top of his game in songwriting – Bayside or otherwise. It doesn't push the boundaries of solo projects much, but it does take several surefooted steps outside of the Bayside shell. By taking us on several journeys outside of the office though, Raneri flashes his talents in a versatile manner without sacrificing quality for quantity – making New Cathedrals an enjoyable production regardless of your preference in his previous work.

Recommended If You LikeBayside, the movie Grease

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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 16
10:13 AM on 01/26/12
#2
Thomas Nassiff
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I like this EP a lot more than I thought I would. A lot more depth than I anticipated.
10:22 AM on 01/26/12
#3
Momo32T
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Nice review Jason. I definitely agree with a lot of your points, but I personally feel that "Lead, Follow, Fail" sounds the most like a Bayside lost track than any other. Maybe its because the origins of "The Ballad of Bill The Saint: started out as a more folsky acoustic jam, but I agree to an extent its not too far off from being a Bayside track.

Definitely a good point about "Please Don't Leave". Hopefully the next release from Ant will see him venturing into more atypical waters.
10:57 AM on 01/26/12
#4
gameguru990
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I like this EP a lot more than I thought I would. A lot more depth than I anticipated.
I couldn't agree more.
11:04 AM on 01/26/12
#5
Alex DiVincenzo
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Nice review Jason. I definitely agree with a lot of your points, but I personally feel that "Lead, Follow, Fail" sounds the most like a Bayside lost track than any other. Maybe its because the origins of "The Ballad of Bill The Saint: started out as a more folsky acoustic jam, but I agree to an extent its not too far off from being a Bayside track.

Definitely a good point about "Please Don't Leave". Hopefully the next release from Ant will see him venturing into more atypical waters.
Yeah, Anthony said that "Lead, Follow, Fail" is the most like Bayside as well.

Good review. Glad someone wrote about it, because it's good stuff whether you're a fan of Bayside or not.
11:42 AM on 01/26/12
#6
bojl
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awesome. love this EP.
12:38 PM on 01/26/12
#7
The Grey Man
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Really enjoying this EP
07:13 PM on 01/26/12
#8
CarouselBoy
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As a big fan of Bayside, Im a big fan of this EP. It's definitely a little different than the full band sound, but not too different. I went to the Where's the Band tour last night and he was great. If I remember right, the only song he did off the EP was Charleston. The rest was Bayside, and only song off Bayside's acoustic cd was Don't Call Me Peanut. Also, he had ran out of copies of the EP so it's obviously been selling pretty well. That or he underestimated how many people would buy it
07:05 AM on 01/28/12
#9
mathisntfun
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Charleston is such a fantastic song.
08:48 AM on 01/28/12
Karl Hansen
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You almost invented a new word in this sentance man, but sorry I have to steal the glory:

"stripped down to a campfire-ready core"

"Campfire-core", isn't that the perfect name for this genre of solo projects? :)
09:03 AM on 01/28/12
Yellowcard2006
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Great review. I would have rated it in the upper 80s however.
08:50 PM on 01/28/12
Sam DeBurns Red
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Smoooooth crooooooooon.
10:11 PM on 01/28/12
PHI Flyers10
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As a big fan of Bayside, Im a big fan of this EP. It's definitely a little different than the full band sound, but not too different. I went to the Where's the Band tour last night and he was great. If I remember right, the only song he did off the EP was Charleston. The rest was Bayside, and only song off Bayside's acoustic cd was Don't Call Me Peanut. Also, he had ran out of copies of the EP so it's obviously been selling pretty well. That or he underestimated how many people would buy it
Don't Call Me Peanut isn't from the Acoustic album. It's the ninth track off of Bayside. I'm just being nit-picky since it's my favorite song ever.
10:25 PM on 01/28/12
CarouselBoy
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Don't Call Me Peanut isn't from the Acoustic album. It's the ninth track off of Bayside. I'm just being nit-picky since it's my favorite song ever.
what i meant was it was the only song on the Acoustic album that he played. I didn't mean it originated from the Acoustic album. I was way off though cause looking back at the track list I remember he played Megan and Blame it On Bad Luck too
03:21 PM on 01/29/12
PHI Flyers10
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what i meant was it was the only song on the Acoustic album that he played. I didn't mean it originated from the Acoustic album. I was way off though cause looking back at the track list I remember he played Megan and Blame it On Bad Luck too
Ahh. Gotcha. He played Megan acoustic the first time I saw Bayside and played Don't Call Me Peanut when I saw them on the Take Action Tour last year. I've wanted to go to the Where's the Band Tour for the last several years but I haven't gotten around to it.
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