ALBUM REVIEW: Bayside broods in darker ‘Cult’

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First Posted: 3/3/2014

Bayside has been in the pop punk scene for over a decade, and they released their sixth studio album “Cult” a few weeks back. The album is filled with self-reflection, and each song has energy and emotion to spare. There is also a dark twinge to the tracks on the album, but ultimately it doesn’t seem to fit. The songs are definitely catchy, and one cannot discredit the band’s vocal harmonies and driving guitar riffs, but the tone of the songs seem to be dark just for the sake of being dark.

“Cult” begins with “Big Cheese,” whose introduction seems better suited for a metal album than that of a punk record. The song itself speaks about wanting to be remembered and loved and hoping the band isn’t/wasn’t merely a fad. It is refreshing to hear a band ponder such concerns openly.

The theme continues on, and in the song “Stuttering,” Bayside, oddly enough, seems to be thumbing their nose at their fans. Anthony Raneri is singing about not wanting to write the love song “that his mother said he should.” This is rather avant-garde, considering potentially pissing off the people buying your albums is generally frowned upon in the industry. This emotional outpouring continues into the next track, “Bear with Me,” where he claims to be a “novelty.” The main problem isn’t the self-reflection; there is nothing wrong with such questions and worries, yet one can be reflective without being all dark and brooding.

The bottom line is the album will definitely find its fan base. Bayside has been making music since 2000, so they clearly know what they are doing. Fans of both the band and the genre will find something to enjoy in this album. As for this reviewer, it just fell a little flat.

Bayside ‘Cult’ Rating: W W V