Bayside
Acoustic


3.0
good

Review

by Ben Borneman USER (11 Reviews)
November 25th, 2009 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With an arm raised in triumphant meloncholia...

Acoustic was released February 2006 in the wake of drummer John “Beatz” Holohan’s tragic death. In late 2005, following a Colorado show in support of their sophomore release (s/t), the group’s vehicle crashed and flipped while traveling late at night during inclimate weather. “Beatz” was killed in the accident, and bassist Nick Ghanbarian was seriously injured. Bayside members recorded Acoustic as a tribute of sorts to their fallen drummer. The album’s lead track ‘Winter’ was in fact written about this event and is dedicated to his memory.

Firstly, the title Acoustic is perhaps a bit misleading. Although acoustic instruments are used on eight of ten songs, these recordings are not performed in an “Unplugged” style, as they lack bass and drums. The remaining cuts sport full arrangements and electric instruments. These distinctions, however, are trivial as they certainly don’t affect the listener’s enjoyment.

One may be surprised of just how well Bayside’s material translates to the minimalistic approach of two acoustic guitars accompanied by the coarse and emotive crooning of Anthony Raneri. A good song is a good song regardless of format, and Acoustic highlights the group’s songwriting ability. Raneri’s proclivity to experiment with the vocal melody keeps things fresh for those familiar with the band, while Jack O’Shea’s lead work is perhaps more impressive with the increased articulation afforded by use of an acoustic instrument. Bayside’s musicianship alone arguably boosts them above their pop-punk and pop-rock contemporaries. Album highlights ‘Devotion and Desire’ and personal favorite ‘Montauk’ serve as good examples of what the group is capable of on a technical level, retaining energy and catchiness of the originals.

Acoustic, while thoroughly listenable, is not without some glaring problems. With only ten tracks, the inclusion of two covers is a letdown, particularly when they are amongst the weakest tunes here. The majority of songs are taken from the self-titled, and it might have been nice to see a couple from Bayside’s excellent debut Sirens and Condolences receive the same treatment. I simply have no explanation as to why the electric numbers ‘Baby Britain’ and ‘Paternal Reversal’ are featured on what is supposed to be an acoustic album. ‘Baby Britain’ in particular does not belong anywhere near this record. An annoyingly upbeat Elliot Smith cover does mesh well with the atmosphere of brooding and angst so prevalent in Bayside’s music. Lastly, one should generally anticipate a slightly reduced tempo with acoustic renditions of electric numbers, but ‘They Looked Like Strong Hands’ is agonizingly slow, to the point that the performers themselves seem to lose track of the rhythm. Ultimately, Acoustic delivers only a pittance of what it advertises despite the strength of its product.



Recent reviews by this author
Built to Spill There's Nothing Wrong with Love311 Grassroots
Janelle Monae Metropolis Suite I of IV: The Chase311 Music
Red Hot Chili Peppers One Hot MinuteGlenn Gould Bach: Goldberg Variations
user ratings (137)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Richard Craig (3)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
nkeithb
March 1st 2010


64 Comments


I was streaming this album on Myspace and was listening to Winter when I read what it was about. I started paying attention to the lyrics and man it was sad.

WatchItExplode
October 4th 2010


3275 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like Bayside. They are a good band. More people should like Bayside because they are good. The Smoking Popes singer has a whiny voice. He wrote a good song though.

Digging: Giant Squid - Minoans

Knott-
Emeritus
January 26th 2011


10198 Comments


but you're not honest, and you never could be

Sanders
January 26th 2011


2353 Comments


I forgot how good Winter was.

Knott-
Emeritus
January 26th 2011


10198 Comments


fucking adore this band, this record is just another side to them

winter rules too yeah

Sanders
January 26th 2011


2353 Comments


I still think the original recordings of Devotion and Desire and Montauk are my favourite songs of theirs, they were amazing live. I saw them before The Walking Wounded was released though, so I don't know what their newer stuff sounds like live...

WatchItExplode
January 26th 2011


3275 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Rock. Solid.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Following the tragic touring van accident which left Bayside's drummer John Holohan dead & bassist Nick Ghanbarian with a broken back, Anthony Raneri & Jack O'Shea later performed acoustically, inspiring this strong 40 minute release. Also containing 2 covers & an electric B-side, Raneri's divisive vocals adapt very well & are given a further shot of sincerity in the acoustic setting. While their well-chosen past highlights are all strong, they are eclipsed by the emotional tribute to Holohan that is 'Winter'; a poignant tear-jerker if ever there was one. Recommended Tracks: Winter, Blame It On Bad Luck, Devotion and Desire & Masterpiece.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

All their songs are the best live. They tour so much, I'm surprised they find time to record any albums.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, too true... I'm seeing them with Anberlin & The Starting Line in 12 days time. They better have a good t-shirt of their logo in my size this time... If they want to make some money.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh hell yeah, they are. I can't recall if there is a new album coming though, but they've been touring again for a while.

WatchItExplode
February 16th 2011


3275 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bayside is throwing the Aussies a lot of love with like 9 dates including Download...as per usual no where close to me. = {

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Actually, these guys are such hard-workers that in Melbourne, they are supporting New Found Glory one night & then supporting Anberlin the next night.



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 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy