Bayside: Cult

For a band that got their start in the punk and emo scenes of the early 2000’s, I’m glad that Bayside are currently at the highest level of popularity in their career, but I think this band should have been experiencing this since 2004. They have been extremely consistent throughout their career and Anthony Raneri keeps writing these grand, anthemic, punk-rock/emo tracks. Fr a band that have never had a bad album, I’m still shocked that it has taken as long as it has for people to really get behind this band. This is a band that has really meant a lot to me and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of their records to date (I even have their Live in New York album on white vinyl).

Cult is the sixth full length release from this band and is just as good as anything else they’ve put their name on. Bayside are a band I can rely on to have at least three tracks on each album that have choruses that will be stuck in your head for weeks after you first listen to the album and that definitely holds true for Cult. The album kicks off with the bombastic drum intro for “Big Cheese,” a classic Bayside track and then neatly moves into “Time Has Come,” which is a little too pop-punk for me. The next three songs though “Hate Me,” “You’re No Match,” and “Pigsty” are some of the best songs that the band have put their names on, with huge choruses. “Stuttering” might be the best track on the record and really illustrates Raneri’s emotions towards the music industry. It’s very passionate and discusses his role and the frontman in a band and the stipulations that come with that kind of position. It’s a very forward-thinking track for a band that have been around for over a decade.

The production on this record is fantastic with big drums and even bigger guitars. Everything is very well mixed and the songwriting on this record is probably the strongest the band have ever been.  I mentioned before that the band are notorious for having a plethora of songs that will be stuck in your head for days on end, but I think this might be the band’s most memorable album through and through. There is not a single dull moment on the record, unlike a few moments on some previous albums where it starts off and ends strong, but dips just a little in the middle. Overall, while it’s not a perfect album, it might be my new favorite album from them, and that’s after only two listens. I’m extremely please with this album and glad that Bayside have found themselves in the limelight currently. It’s about time.

Luke Helker

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