CD Review: Bayside / Killing Time
Admittedly, my exposure to Bayside and their music has been rather limited but I was pretty impressed with the material on their new release, Killing Time, which drops on February 22nd. Called one of the most anticipated albums of 2011 by Alternative Press, Bayside had their work cut out for them from the word go. After listening to the whole album through several times, I knew a four-star rating was in order.
Killing Time marks the band’s debut release on Wind-Up Records after a long run with Victory Records and four albums under their belt. The first track, “Already Gone”, gets the album off to a great start with pounding drums and an exciting wail from guitar-a great way to start an album with a suckerpunch right to the gut in the true spirit of rock and roll. Then the vocals start and the real fun begins; a high energy song about relationship regrets, it doesn’t disappoint lyrically or effort-wise.
Working with producer Gil Norton was just what the band needed. “We wanted to make a big, detailed record, but still retain the pop sensibility that makes us who we are” said frontman Anthony Raneri about the studio process. “Gil helped us stay on an aggressive rock track without losing sight of the music’s commercial appeal. To achieve that balance was the plan”; a successful plan indeed. The first single, “Sick, Sick, Sick”, is catchy yet aggressive in a way I haven’t experienced since I last listened to the song “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses, an excellent choice for an opening single. The element of chanting the title just adds to this fast-paced masterpiece about wanting out of a relationship and was penned about Raneri’s marriage.
The title track “Killing Time”, a slower, slightly softer tune than most of the album about wasting life waiting for something that will never come, is an excellent closing to the album. It features softer singing with relatively no shouting and less of an aggressive tone, but with the same hard-edged vibe as the rest of the album.
My favorite, however, was the song “Mona Lisa”. It features softer singing and guitar, like the title track, but also sometimes comes with quick staccatos of aggressiveness come the end of the chorus. A slower, heartfelt track with a strong finish, it really completes the album. Coincidentally this song was also penned about Raneri’s ex who seems to have provided an unlimited amount of inspiration.
There’s definitely a little bit of everything on this album from the ballad “On Love, On Life” with 20 piece orchestral elements, to songs about the bands camaraderie and dedication to each other “It’s Not A Bad Little War” and “Stinking and Swimming On Long Island” to “The Wrong Way” angry, tear your face off unapologetic rocker.
Since this is my first encounter with Bayside, I am not able to compare to their previous works, but if this is their new beginning, I can’t wait to see (and more importantly hear) what the future holds for them.
For a sneak listen to new Bayside music you can head over to Alternative Press to hear “Mona Lisa” here or watch the video for “Sick, Sick, Sick” below.
Pre-order the album on iTunes here