Bayside
The Walking Wounded


4.0
excellent

Review

by NovaSilver USER (12 Reviews)
September 7th, 2008 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Intelligent lyrics, excellent musicianship and a hefty dose of bitterness and inspiration.

The Walking Wounded is Bayside's third full length album and their first after releasing an acoustic album in the memory of their drummer John Holohan, killed in an accident in 2005. While it would be easy to conclude that the title therefore refers to this and the band as a whole this isn't an album devoted simply to mourning their friend. Instead Bayside have taken this tragedy in their stride, added Chris Guglielmo to the line up and produced an album with wide ranging themes from alcoholism (Choice Hops And Bottled Self-Esteem), love (Landing Feet first) and the music industry (Pop)Ular SciencE). Bayside are firmly part of the pop punk movement, coming from the same area as Taking Back Sunday and Brand New and being signed to Victory Records but they've always had their own style with Anthony Ranieri's vocals combined with some truly solid riffs, a lack of screaming and more of a caustic edge. Perhaps because of this they've never quite hit the same heights as their compatriots but The Walking Wounded definitely represents their best try yet as it's an album chock full of catchy tracks begging to be singles.

The title tracks opens things off with a bit of a suprise as a tuba leads into a roaring track as Ranieri bitterly asks 'Who would want to die as a cowardly little child/When our time is up, will be ashamed or proud?'. Featuring I Am The Avalanche's Vinnie Curuana on guest vocals and with ith a quick 20 seconds of squealing guitar solo in the middle this song is an excellent starter, both catchy and with enough rock to firmly establish what Bayside is all about. The bitterness hardly abates with second track 'They're Not Horses, They're Unicorns' as Ranieri rages at a (presumably) former lover 'she was a termite eating away at my roots/eating away at my roots'. While the lyrics may not be genius material the pounding guitar behind it makes up for it, making sure it doesn't come out as simply angsty. 'Duality' quickly dispels any doubt that Bayside can make a good old fashinoned catchy pop rock song. This is the shortest and catchiest song on the album with some good backing vocals from Jack O'Shea behind energetic guitar and some intelligent, easily singable lyrics (Some say/It's all fate/But I say we control our lives/And if my destiny should outbest me then that's fine). This first trio of songs establishes quickly what The Walking Wounded is all about, catchy but still meaningful rock with a bitter edge but not whiny.

'Carry On' isn't much of a departure from this formula, a song about being out of your depth, again featuring good lyrics but it lacks some of the anger of the first three tracks, instead focusing on more of the feelings of inadequacy. However it does seem a bit interchangeable from the opening trio. Luckily if you're getting tired of all this negativity 'I And I' shifts the clouds of gloom with some words of self belief and a section ready-made for sing alongs as Ranieri sings 'I and I we're taking control of our lives/Everything's alright'. It lacks some of the energy of the early songs but it's a stirring anthem. 'Head On A Plate' follows a similar route, an empowering song about originality in music and it's hard not to sing along to 'What a lovely day/For a symphony/Full of honesty and integrity'. There's less emphasis on the edgy guitar here and it makes a nice change of pace.

'Choice Hops And Bottled Self - Esteem' reminds you that Bayside aren't a band big on the happy and light style of music. The subject here is alcoholism and this is an intelligent and passionate song. 'The healing power of alcohol/Only works on scrapes and nicks/And I know girls who drown themselves in it' are great lines and are fully supported by some good backing vocal woah's and another quick section of blistering guitar work. 'Dear Your Holiness' has some atheistic overtones and the lines 'I think it's funny you've been quiet for so long/When you're quiet no-one proves you wrong' may raise some eyebrows. Some piano interludes provide a break from the relentless riffs and the song is another perfectly hooky song which could easily be a single. 'Landing Feet First' is possibly the most suprising song on the album. A love song, it starts off with just Ranieri singing and one repeated note before turning into a full on pop song complete with eh-oh singing and then abruptly swinging into a rocking song with the spotlight on some immense sounding guitar work. It's an energising song and really shows Bayside can do when they feel like experimenting.

'Thankfully' makes full use of this energy and is one of the most up-tempo songs. A song about self reliability a burst of quickfire singing shows Ranieri's vocal talents and it's backed by some excellent drumming. 'A Rite of Passage' isn't much to talk about unfortunately. Though it's a perfectly competent song it follows some by now familiar themes and gets a little repetitive despite the always catchy guitar and singing. Luckily the finishing track, '(Pop)Ular SciencE' makes up for it, an intelligent rant about the conformity in music and something Bayside clearly take very personally as gang vocals take over as they chant 'they don't care/dollar by dollar your souls getting smaller'.

Overall The Walking Wounded is mostly what's best about good pop punk music. It's emotional but still intelligent, it's catchy but still rocks and the musicianship is superb. It really does deserve success. There's not a lot of experimentation here besides 'Landing Feet First' so I can't justify giving this more than a 4 but Bayside have taken what they're good at and produced a brilliant album.



Recent reviews by this author
Crime In Stereo The Troubled StatesideEisley Combinations
Hell Is For Heroes Hell is for HeroesAnd So I Watch You From Afar And So I Watch You From Afar
If These Trees Could Talk Above the Earth, Below the SkyColour of Fire Pearl Necklace
user ratings (403)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SpinLightTwo
September 7th 2008


1045 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is pop punk.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2008


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, emo is not the correct term here and pop-punk would probably best describe it. Although, I know what the reviewer is trying to get at, as I think Bayside do a lot of things differently to most bands in that genre as they can rock out, while also having a rather indie kind of feel to them as well.

Pretty good review, although it is basically a track by track in disguise and I don't think you needed to list as many lyrics as you did (although in a way it helped back up some of your points).

I also disagree that this is their most catchy album as I think their self-titled had more singles. In fact, I'd almost call Bayside a singles band as they can be very very good, but their filler just fades into the background.

CrazyOfTheCrop
September 7th 2008


23 Comments


Davey, you're probably the nicest guy on here.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2008


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Why thank you.

Of course, "nice" tends to not get over well with many at Sputnik.

marksellsuswallets
September 8th 2008


4845 Comments


The only thing I've heard off of this is Dear Your Holiness and it was frikin awesome. I think I should look into actually purchasing this at some point...

nwel20nwel
September 8th 2008


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album from bayside.

Definitely not emo.

maybe a little

alternative/pop punk



something like that

NovaSilver
September 8th 2008


130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hm, by emo I was using more the modern usage for bands but I see everyone's point. I wouldn't like to automatically categorise them as pop punk though. I tink maybe I'll switch a couple of the terms. Thanks for the feedback Davey (on both reviews), I feel that the lyrics are one of the most important parts of Bayside's sound.

ZenIsNotChosen
June 18th 2009


94 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good album, although it does get a bit boring after a while.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 11th 2009


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ayyo, ayyo, I hope you weren't waiting long.



Properly into this at the moment. His voice is one of the best things in music.

foreverendeared
July 11th 2009


14677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah reminds me of Say Anything but better

Knott-
Emeritus
July 11th 2009


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

idk i think ranieri sounds like he's talking to you in tune, and bemis just sounds like he's shouting at himself.

Yotimi
July 11th 2009


7354 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Just got this from the library the other day. They don't sound like Say Anything. Check out the new Junior Varsity album - it sounds exactly like that. And album is pretty good after first listen; pretty surprised by it.

foreverendeared
July 12th 2009


14677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was comparing their voices, they are similar vocally imo

Knott-
Emeritus
July 12th 2009


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i get it with their tone jst not with their deliveries

foreverendeared
July 16th 2009


14677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh yeah they definitely have a different delivery style

HaloDude442
October 27th 2010


716 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this cd rules

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2011


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Since their superb self-titled LP didn’t break Bayside into the big time, it is difficult to see ‘The Walking Wounded’ doing so either... No matter how good its highlights are. Showing more diversity than ever, the Long Island quartet deliver another rock-solid album that takes in elements of pop-punk, alt-rock & indie. Like its predecessor, the usual lyrical gold nuggets are interspersed throughout, while the guitar-work is strong. Furthermore, its first half is tremendous... Unfortunately, the latter half contains a lot of indistinctive & unmemorable filler. Recommended Tracks: Carry On, Duality, They're Not Horses They're Unicorns & The Walking Wounded.

Spec
March 10th 2011


34734 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Title track is cool.

Winsomniac
February 7th 2012


8451 Comments


Head on a Plate fucking rules. Shudder is still probably better than this, but still. FUCKING BAYSIDE.

Digging: End - From the Unforgiving Arms of God

NeutralThunder12
February 7th 2012


8742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

shudder is not better and this is criminally underrated



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy