Bayside have always been the band that fans can rely on, the alternative punk long-stayers who will deliver their distinct sound time and time again to the splendour of their countless followers worldwide. ‘Cult’, the quartet’s sixth album (almost hard to believe right?) is once again exactly this, but more grand and for the better.
Having experienced a lot of what life has to offer in more recent times, vocalist/guitarist Anthony Raneri has utilized these experiences (marriage, birth of his daughter, the saddening loss of his stepfather, stepbrother and grandfather) to directly influence his music and lyrics. This is no laid-back or docile affair, it is a bit of an uppercut to the jaw of the listener, but in an impressive and addictive way.
Each song somehow boasts an incredible guitar solo, but by no means is it a predictable or monotonous undertaking; it is an “edge of the seat” experience. Time Has Come and Something’s Wrong are more of the pop-punk leaning comparable to The Atari’s in their heyday, but it seems like Robert Smith and The Cure decided to join in with near gothic synth additions. Rather brilliantly to be perfectly frank. Objectivist On Fire is the most adventurous song Bayside have ever crafted with an a cappella part which leads into an atmospheric alternative rock feel truly capturing the emotion being portrayed lyrically. This actually lends itself very well to earlier tracks Bear With Me, You’re No Match and the dreary ballad Transitive Property which portray pain and suffering but with a glimmer of hope with their infectious melodies.
Closer The Whitest Lie is the hard rocker that would excite audiences without hesitation, but in the studio version the orchestral element helping conclude the song is breath taking and adds an ambience and character which is impossible to forget.
Conclusively it’s always nice to have a band like Bayside who seem to constantly deliver the goods with their recorded output and ‘Cult‘ is an incredible addition to their discography. If only more outfits could have a near guarantee with what they release as these four gentlemen from Queens, New York seem to encompass. Now about that three year wait for an Australian tour…
Bayside’s ‘CULT’ will be in stores on February 21 in Australia and New Zealand via Hopeless Records/Unified.
Reviewed by Will Oakeshott