Bayside
Cult


4.5
superb

Review

by Conor Dalgarno USER (6 Reviews)
February 18th, 2014 | 54 replies


Release Date: 02/18/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bayside stop stuttering.

Bayside are an odd band. They've never released a bad album – each one has been chock full of catchy and anthemic songs, and the instrumental/vocal performances are pretty much always spot on. But they've never really caught fire. They've become ‘nearly-men’, releasing solid album after solid album and never quite reaching the heights that some of us believed they could reach. They've never really released a truly memorable album. Until now.

‘Cult’ is the best album Bayside have ever written. Oddly though, it still sounds pretty much identical to each of their previous efforts. Anthony Raneri’s likeable vocals are still present and besides an added (and appreciated) hint of growling on a couple of tracks, he sounds pretty much the same as he always done. There’s still a mix of upbeat love songs and biting songs laced with cynicism and quick-shot guitar solos. There’s still that familiar Bayside sound that, whilst perhaps not particularly unique in any one aspect, is still so definably Bayside. Truly, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes ‘Cult’ stand out as Bayside’s best album – but after repeated listens, I'm finding it hard to argue otherwise.
That’s not to suggest that every song on the album is a hit. ‘Objectivist On Fire’ never really takes off despite always hinting at doing so, with the slow-paced chorus dragging the tempo of the song down. Similarly, the following two tracks ‘Something’s Wrong’ and ‘White Lie’ – whilst perfectly catchy and enjoyable in their own right, are far more reminiscent of the type of songs that Bayside churn out in their sleep. They don’t stand out. Thankfully there’s quite a few tracks on ‘Cult’ that have that extra something, that oh-so-indefinable quality that pushes them one level higher than the typical Bayside fare we've come to expect.

One such example – and probably the best – is ‘Stuttering’. Found midway throughout the album, ‘Stuttering’ kicks off pretty much as you’d expect from any Bayside song. Anthony’s lyrics roll out over fairly basic instrumental work before slowing down ready for the chorus to kick in, and the chorus is when the song first hints at being something different. There’s just the slightest hint of a growl in Anthony’s voice, a small suggestion of passion and anger and cynicism that elevates the song. Cynicism that’s backed up by the lyrics.
“So I can keep on making cash, for heartless ***ing crooks. They pray on all my passions, ‘cos they know as well as me, that this is the only way that I know how to be.”
Minimal instrumental work backs up the above vocals, allowing Anthony’s voice to come to the fore before he finally launches into the chorus with an “And I’m stuttering!” that by this point is essentially yelled down the mic. It feels earned. There’s build-up and pay off and it’s great hearing Bayside with that little bit more bite.

There are of course, the required love songs. The two that stand out are the relatively slower tracks of ‘You’re No Match’ – a song about a partner changing over time, about revealing who they really are once they’ve got their hooks in.
“You are the monster I was scared you’d be” – “And your horns came out so gradually, but honey, you’re no match for me.”
The second of these songs, ‘Transitive Property’, takes a more forlorn look at relationships, with Anthony lamenting the demise of his relationship and his determination to claw it back from the death – outright refusing to believe that it’s over. It’s probably my favourite song on the album, though whether that’s due to the construction of the song itself or simply the resonance the lyrics have with me, I can’t be sure.

That’s still what we want from Bayside though, at the end of the day. We want to feel. They’re a throwback to the bands we used to listen to whilst huddled in the corners of school stairwells. They've just grown up a bit on ‘Cult’, is all.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2014


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

Don't you go lifting my expectations for nothing DA.

DyingAtheist
February 17th 2014


113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Would I do that to you?

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014


19747 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They've never really released a truly memorable album. Until now


Wrong. This is better than their last one though

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2014


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

Yeah, I think I would classify their self-titled as memorable, but I do know what the reviewer is trying to say.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014


19747 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

At first this sounded like just another bayside album to me, but the guitars are pretty slick

Green Baron
February 17th 2014


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Montauk the song is probably my fav from them

TooLateToGoBack
February 17th 2014


1764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

stupid NE snowstorm delayed my deluxe order and i still haven't listened to the album, but this review makes me so excited.

Digging: Pianos Become the Teeth - Keep You

Green Baron
February 17th 2014


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll pick this up in Bayside

silentstar
February 17th 2014


2253 Comments


I listened to the lead single and cannot believe that they're still writing this music at this stage

I mean, I liked Killing Time back in 2011 but the sound just seems so old now

DyingAtheist
February 17th 2014


113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lead single is one of the weaker songs on the album for me, it's catchy enough, but it's clearly their main "radio-friendly" track.

Cygnatti
February 17th 2014


21352 Comments


"Wrong. This is better than their last one though"

u bettr not b lying >.

Digging: Jon Hopkins - Immunity

unaMUSEd
February 17th 2014


1072 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Killing Time is a 3.5 verging on 4 so if this is better then :D

Digging: Bring Me the Horizon - Sempiternal

Ecnalzen
February 17th 2014


6531 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like Walking Wounded the best, but it does have a couple of slightly shit songs on it. The stand out tracks are so good tho.

Looking forward to hearing this in full. Hope to enjoy it close to as much as you do.

Your formatting looks a little messy in the 3rd and 4th paragraphs with the lyric quotes. Might put some spacing before and after the quotes and give them some breathing room or actually make the a part of the paragraph.

Also, in your second paragraph, I cant tell if you mean to start a new paragraph in the middle or if it is all supposed to be one.

Rawrz
February 18th 2014


146 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice to see im not crazy in thinking this is there best album. Its the perfect blend of everything they have ever done. Anthony sounds as confident as ever in his delivery and Jack just gets to shine as his guitar playing in every track is outstanding.

NoSons
February 18th 2014


83 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I do not know what to rate this. Because for me, tracks 8-10 were off putting. I cannot describe why, but everything else seemed awesome.

Big Cheese was a hell of an opener.

The Whitest Lie was awesome.

Pigsty and Stuttering were aggressive.

But those three songs were weird.
This is arguably their best album, they obviously know how to make their music continually anthemic and able to be sung.

Help me out friends.

Cormano
February 18th 2014


968 Comments


I remember the one time I saw them with tbs they had some pretty sick merch

WatchItExplode
February 18th 2014


3243 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well I'm excited. Won't listen for a few days but consensus seems to be that this is a step up from their last if not their best.

I've never been disappointed by anything they've put out so yay!

DyingAtheist
February 18th 2014


113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@NoSons - Yeah I agree that the latter bundle of songs is definitely weaker than the rest. I just don't think they drag the album down that much - they're okay songs, just not special.

kmace
February 18th 2014


158 Comments


These guys are the definition of consistency

Arucard
March 8th 2014


575 Comments


Objectivist On Fire, wow. Great stuff, I've never heard a bad Bayside album.



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