Bayside
There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sowing STAFF
April 15th, 2024 | 20 replies


Release Date: 04/05/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nothing really matters now, so what am I so worried about?

Generally speaking, Bayside seems to have one of the most underrated discographies in pop-punk. They’ve consistently churned out good-to-great records for two decades, with nary a misstep. Still, they don’t seem to be mentioned often among the genre’s elite. It’s understandable, then, that Bayside’s late career resurgence could go relatively unnoticed by casual pop-punk goers. 2019’s Interrobang might’ve been their best album outright, and now There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive takes that formula and continues to sharpen the blade. Their recent fusion of ultra infectious pop-punk and heavier metallic riffs has invigorated the band, all while seeing them reach what is arguably their finest hour as a band.

Highlights are aplenty here and there is no shortage of bangers that sound better the louder you play them. Opener ‘Devils’ goes harder than a “pop-punk” tune has any right to, ‘Castaway’ culminates in a slick and elaborate electric guitar solo, and the chorus on ‘Go to Hell’ soars as high as any of the group’s best. Once you get past the album's tremendous opening run, there's still plenty to uncover: the excellent lead riff on 'Miracle', the upbeat pessimism of 'Say So Long', and the gorgeously melodic chords late on 'Bad Intentions'. The penultimate 'Just Like Home' is perhaps the best combination of There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive's assets, showcasing amazing guitars and drumming alongside some of Raneri's best vocals on the record - including a jaw-dropping swell as the track nears its conclusion. Even the last song on the LP, which employs those ever-dreaded woah-ohs, manages to do so in a way that feels uplifting and conclusive. Suffice to say, there are very few misses across the album's brief runtime.

If there’s a downside to this release it’s mostly just the lengthy rollout itself, as many of these songs were heard well in advance thanks to The Red EP and The Blue EP, which spanned 2022-2023. As a collection of songs, however, this deserves to be mentioned among Bayside’s best. There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive is a tour de force of emo, pop-punk, and metal influences that is effortlessly dynamic and unrelenting in quality. It manages to sound heavier, bolder, and more confident without sacrificing the band’s core identity or penchant for earworm melodies. In other words, over twenty years into their career, they somehow just keep getting better.



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user ratings (73)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sowing
Moderator
April 15th 2024


43997 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Brief review for an album and band that probably deserves to be talked about right now!

lucazade22
April 15th 2024


805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I enjoyed this but I preferred Interrobang by quite a bit

Zac124
April 15th 2024


2809 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Never heard of this band before but decided to give them a go anyway. Some really cool stuff here and particularly enjoy Good Advice. But this, overall, felt too produced imo.

UniverseCalling
April 16th 2024


107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This band just effortlessly makes fun, engaging music.

LightAndGlass
April 16th 2024


1236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

This is more by the numbers Bayside. Totally inoffensive but just more of them making Already Gone/Sick Sick Sick over and over again. Wish they'd be dynamic again like their first 3 albums and CULT.



@Zac - I think Bayside has been overproduced since Shudder but Killing Time is when it really became a big point of contention for me.

Project
April 16th 2024


5841 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it's very formulaic but it helps that it's a pretty good formula

Sowing
Moderator
April 16th 2024


43997 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

--I enjoyed this but I preferred Interrobang by quite a bit--

I slightly prefer Interrobang but this is still excellent. When I said the band is in its "finest hour" I was moreso referring to this era of Bayside, 2019-2024.



Also agree overall with the observations of this being slickly produced and a tad formulaic, but they execute everything so well that I won't hold it against them. The tracks bang.

LightAndGlass
April 16th 2024


1236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I'd say their finest hour is 2004-2007 but I like more somber Bayside a hell of a lot more than the sort of alt metal riffage stuff they've been doing, mostly because I feel like every song kind of has the same verses and choruses.



I saw them a week ago and the new songs sound great live but I mostly chalk that up to Bayside just being a ridiculously great live band. Jack might be one of the most underrated guitarists of the last nearly 20 years.

WatchItExplode
April 16th 2024


10472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This has a lot more keepers then most of their albums honestly (exclude the first few)

Feather
April 16th 2024


10235 Comments


Castaway is such a jam. Whole album is pleasant and fun, similar to new sun 41

LightAndGlass
April 17th 2024


1236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I'm giving this album a full listen right now and it's probably closer to a 3.5. It's still super formulaic Bayside but it doesn't have any songs I outright dislike like their last 2 albums and Killing Time do.



The chorus to Good Advice is one of the best they've written in forever but at the same time, 6 of these songs have been ones we've heard for a couple years now so I already knew I liked Good Advice.

Zac124
April 17th 2024


2809 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good Advice is indeed such a jam.

cylinder
April 17th 2024


2676 Comments


that album title is a useful mantra

LightAndGlass
April 18th 2024


1236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I judged this a little too harshly initially. Definitely like it more than Interrobang and it shares a lot more similarities with CULT than I'd initially thought.

lucazade22
April 18th 2024


805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Interrobang had Heaven which is just so goddamn catchy

LightAndGlass
April 18th 2024


1236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I think Heaven is nice in a driving with the windows down on a sunny spring day kind of way.

I really hate Prayers and can't stand the choruses of Bury Me and especially Numb (the way Anthony sings SOOORRREEEHHHH is the worst).

Medication and the title track are great songs. Trouble is a pretty classic sounding Bayside song too.

I feel like I'd like Interrobang and this album a lot more if they had the production of The Walking Wounded. There's a level of grittiness they're missing that would benefit the songs a lot.

grandbazaar
April 18th 2024


147 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Continues in the same vein as Interrobang but not as good IMO

PunkerBlast
April 21st 2024


434 Comments


I was quite into their first few albums and the early EPs. Even if ppl would probably consider those early EPs especially juvenile and "fake" edgy now. I haven't heard anything new by them for a long time. Maybe someday I should check that out.

hangth3dj
May 14th 2024


796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never heard of these guys before, but they're on the bill for Download on the Friday which has some slim pickings, so I went on a deep dive & checked this out.



It's pretty damn good actually, has the potential to hit a 4 with repeated plays I feel.

LightAndGlass
May 14th 2024


1236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Damn, can only imagine hearing Bayside for the first time with all the output they have. I think their first 3 records are easily the best (self-titled is a GOAT) but they're consistent as hell.



Fantastic live act too. You'll probably have a great time seeing them.



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