Bayside
Shudder


3.0
good

Review

by Ryan Cleary USER (16 Reviews)
October 1st, 2008 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Solid effort from 8 year pop-punk veterans Bayside, on their 5th studio album. Nothing that will blow your mind, but a fun romp at the least...

Not being much of a Bayside listener, in fact knowing basically next to nothing about the band, I did not know what to expect when I downloaded this. What I did know was that the band lost its drummer, John Holohan, in a van accident before the recording of their last release, The Walking Wounded. I had heard a few tracks from that particular album, and was surprised by the gloom and grimness of the work. After hearing that Shudder was to be more upbeat album more in the style of true radio friendly pop-punk, I first thought it would be a giddy, generic romp just like most music in the genre is. However, I can honestly say I was surprised at the start and close of this one. As a casual fan, yet constant detractor of the wonderfully bland pop-punk genre, I can honestly say this is a stagnant musical style, played at its best...at least for the first three tracks or so.

Let me begin by saying that the first three tracks of this CD are pure euphoria, but are in themselves, sort of a blatant contradiction. Boy, Ghost of St. Valentine, and No One Understands are both incredibly catchy, featuring upbeat, giddy pop-punk instrumentation comparable somewhat to Does this Look Infected era Sum 41, laid behind rather morbid, gloomy lyrics. The songs feel sort of contradictory, but generate a fuzzy feeling. The song Boy, the best one on Shudder features a strong chorus, which is repeated to form a huge outro, which creates the best moment on the album. A heavy drum beat and cymbals back up heavy power chords sung in an upbeat tune to the depressing words of:

"Go on, give up, you'll never win
No crying now, they're watching him
His blood will boil, the kids will sing.
Learn to drown before you learn to swim."


If only the band had been able to continue the euphoria for the rest of Shudder, but that's all listeners can say...if only. For whatever reason, the remaining nine tracks lack the passion and the conviction of the first three. They aren't bad, just above average, which is the feeling that you are left with at the album's close. Tracks such as I Can't Go On, and Demons have the potential to be great, but never really achieve said potential. The only other highlights are the band's tribute to Howard Hughes, titled Howard and the anguished Have Fun Storming The Castle.

The instrumentation and musical structure of Shudder is pretty much the standard pop-punk fare, thick, multiple variations of power chords with the occasional riff or solo, with bass nearly identical to the chords. The drumming is above average, being a bit more creative than the average band, and the vocals are very good. The music is nothing that will break any new ground or start any new trends, but is a tried and true standard of the genre, and does its work in complementing the singing. Another thing worth pointing out, much in the style of the new House of Heroes release, the music sometimes carries a sort of theatrical atmosphere, again adding to this band's unique style.

Anthony Raneri's voice, although not on the level of the elite, is solid, not nasally and pre-pubescent like many of his peers. His songwriting, thoughtful and deep, is a step above the rest. The lyrics on Shudder are much more mature than your standard pop-punk relationship song. His lyrics seem to rest more in the sector of self-reflection and inner turmoil, which makes for a more interesting listen.

Bottom Line: This CD is not going to be album of the year, but it should receive solid reception from critics and fans alike. It is a safe, fun effort that does not really break from the norm, yet keeps things fresh most of the way through. It peaks early, but never hits a rock bottom.

3/5

The Clear Best
Boy
The Ghost of St. Valentine
No One Understands



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user ratings (245)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Adam Knott EMERITUS (4)
Shudder sees Bayside once again defy all logic....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Wildcatforever
October 1st 2008


441 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is a decent album, but I kind of expected more.

marksellsuswallets
October 1st 2008


4848 Comments


The whole happy music/gloomy lyrics has always been Bayside's "thing" IMO...good review but the paragraph about Anthony's voice seems a little on the choppy side...maybe I'm just being nit picky...

I like this album but their older stuff is just a little better I think...Devotion & Desire/Dear Your Holiness are still among their best to me...This Message Edited On 10.01.08

Wildcatforever
October 1st 2008


441 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good summary of the album, i voted positive.

marksellsuswallets
October 1st 2008


4848 Comments


hmmm............have a pos :thumb:

marksellsuswallets
October 1st 2008


4848 Comments


You gots a long way to go before staff or mod or anything...
Just write lots of (good) reviews add albums/bands post news and just be a "contributing" member of the site...that would be my guess...

lunchforthesky
October 1st 2008


1039 Comments


Contributor status used to be given out very easilly but so many people got it (myself included) they got flooded with them and so took it away and are now reintroducing it gradually to people who review a lot and to a higher standard than was previously required.

There is no definite way to become either and it has nothing at all to do with positive or negative votes.

If you prove yourself to be a consistent and top standard reviewer (by this sites standards) over a couple of years of more you may make staff if you're lucky.

As for contributors I know it's going to be much harder to get that status but I'm not sure how hard. Ask Jom or Dave for details.

In no way trying to be a jerk to have a very long way to go to be either I'm guessing.This Message Edited On 10.01.08

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2008


21944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A question for you Cleary; You put 'Pretty. Odd.' as a similar recommended... Does this album have anything in common with 'Pretty. Odd.' at all...???

marksellsuswallets
October 1st 2008


4848 Comments


To answer for him...no it really doesn't...haha

BallsToTheWall
October 1st 2008


45090 Comments


To be a contributor my man, you joined the party a little too late. However, good review and the album is pretty good. I like Bayside.

Digging: Aelter - IV: Love Eternal

Rawrz
October 1st 2008


159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. Though to me Rochambo was a highlight of the album. I was rather disappointed in there last album due to them going away from that punk sound that made them great on there first 2 albums. I was glad to see they went back to that sound on this album while still using everything they did right on there last album.

TheGinJoint
October 3rd 2008


7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I might be a tad bit bias, but I think Shudder deserved a bit more than a 3.

Very good review, though.

frumstick
October 3rd 2008


1 Comments


I just about agree with this review. Bayside was getting better and better and then.. this album disappointed me. I don't think they were punk to begin with or at least the actual term for "punk" but they were hard and aggressive. They were not that in this album at all. The first three sons are very catchy and the rest were somewhat catchy. Too often he tries to make his voice sound like Josh Carter from Smoking Popes, which I know are just influences on them, but even as Anthony said in the Walking Wounded album (which I think was the best along with their first album) "originality's not a curse."
This CD wasn't so horrible. I'll listen to it till I have it memorized because Bayside is amazing. Anthony has just lacked the passion his other albums showed. I think he's just tired. He makes a few references in his lyrics to make me believe so and scares me to think this could possibly be the last Bayside album...
But don't quote me on that. I hope they make another album and be better than all their album's combined.

nwel20nwel
October 4th 2008


25 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yeah bro. agree on this

although

i liked the first three songs then

A call to Arms

and also HOward

Towe
October 6th 2008


1 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I miss the guitar work from their self titled album and The Walking Wounded. I always thought that is what set them apart from other pop-punk acts.



This album is a step backward, but I wish them the best of luck and I'm sure I'll listen to it until I have it all memorized as well.



Good review as well.

FakeBlood
October 12th 2008


44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What and What Not, best track.

Knott-
Emeritus
August 24th 2009


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wtf how

omgbecky
October 5th 2009


350 Comments


First album I've heard by Bayside.
Best random purchase ever.

CushMG15
December 5th 2009


1804 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Rochambo is pretty awesome, as are Boy and A Call to Arms.

Knott-
Emeritus
December 5th 2009


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the whole album is excellent, this is so close to a 4.5 for me i play it so often

CushMG15
December 5th 2009


1804 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well its definitely better than anything else they've done, except maybe Sirens and Condolences.



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