Album Review: Bayside – “Killing Time”

Up until this past October 2010, I had never seen Bayside perform in a club setting. The 2 other times I had seen them had been at Warped Tour in 2007 and 2009. There was also the solo acoustic tour frontman and guitarist Anthony Raneri embarked on in 2007, but that doesn’t count. Indoor shows are much more different and intense than their outdoor counterparts and my first experience seeing them indoors didn’t disappoint. Something funny happened during their set. They played a couple of new songs, but the people were singing along and dancing as if the songs were old, fan favorites. At that moment it hit me. “Killing Time,” their upcoming release on their brand new label home Wind Up Records would serve as the new benchmark by which the band will measure themselves.  The band has finally made it and they’re here to stay.

If you’re not familiar with Bayside, they are one of the most unique bands in our scene. It’s hard to put a genre label on this foursome from Queens, New York. They play musical that is as catchy as it is deep and Raneri’s trademark raspy vocals really add a different dimension to their music. For me, they’re one of those bands whose older album, “The Walking Wounded,” remains as one of my all-time favorites. When I think about the summer of 2007, the album serves as the soundtrack to that particular time of my life. Not many bands can do that to me.

With the release of “Killing Time,” that may soon change.

I’ve been listening to this album for a couple of weeks now and there are definitely a couple of songs that stand out above the others, although this album is definitely solid from beginning to end. My personal favorites: “Sick, Sick, Sick,” “Sinking And Swimming On Long Island,” “Seeing Sound,” and “On Love, On Life.” I had the privilege of talking with Raneri a couple of weeks ago and he mentions that the songs were written and recorded a year ago and were then reviewed, re-recorded, and the final product is the best it’s going to be.

I completely agree.

The production on the album is perfect and the lyrics are some of the most personal that Raneri has ever written. The song “Sick, Sick, Sick,” is the perfect example of taking a subject matter that is extremely personal to him (it’s about the failed relationship between him and his ex) and turning it into something that everyone can relate to.  Each song can mean something completely different to someone else. That’s what music should be about. The song is one of those sing-along songs that Bayside is famous for and it’s definitely one of the faster ones on the album.

“On Love, On Life” is one of the songs that closes out the album and lyrically, it seems to come full-circle from “Sick, Sick, Sick.” This song contains a full orchestra backing a subdued and introspective Raneri singing along to piano and guitar. The chorus states “and I can’t let it bother me if fact and fate just can’t agree. on love, on life, can we stop taking ourselves too seriously.” Out of the four songs I chose, this one is probably my favorite one, lyrically.

The biggest gripe I have with this album is how short it is. It’s only 10 tracks long and when you’re listening to it, it’s over before you know it. With that said, it’s obviously a testament as to how good the album is. Bayside aren’t really known for having long  albums anyway.

This album will be the one that Bayside gets remembered for. Long judged by the immensely successful “The Walking Wounded,” “Killing Time” sets a new benchmark for the band. Complete with the lyrics that you can associate with, a delivery that only Raneri himself can match, melodic progressions that will leave you satisfied, and tracks that you can sing along to at shows, this album marks the beginning of the new Bayside.

**The Album Reviews published on Dying Scene are written and submitted by fans of punk music, just like you. If you disagree with an album’s rating, feel free to voice your opinion and give it your own rating in the comments. If you’d like to submit your own review do it here.

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