Killing Time

Bayside

Wind-Up Records, 2011

http://www.baysiderocks.com

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/22/2011

Recently, Bayside switched record labels, leaving Victory Records and moving to Wind-Up Records. In the pre-Internet days, a lot of press would focus on bands going from one label to another and the bidding wars that would result. In this age of the Internet, I don't think changing labels has anything to do with anything, especially for Bayside, a band whose lyrical territory hasn't honestly changed a lot over their previous four releases. With their fifth release, Killing Time, vocalist/guitarist Anthony Raneri continues to sing about wanting to reconcile past relationships or fix current ones.

You can pick and choose what you want out of the ten tracks here and find pretty much what you’re looking for. I found a continuing connection between Raneri and my emotional investment in listening to this band. Sure, on the surface, lamenting about the past during "Sinking And Swimming On Long Island" is easy to pick up on. It's even easier when, in "On Life, On Love," with piano and violins in the background, as Raneri laments "I never felt as old and lonely as I felt when I was young and in love." That's a theme he touched on in "Blame It On Bad Luck," so the evidence for sticking to familiar lyrical territory is present. There's a unique perspective when Raneri comments upon the people in his life. In "The Wrong Way" Raneri sings, "You're the type of girl / That puts on cyanide perfume / And ask for kisses on the neck from every boy in the room." That insight makes me smile as much as I do when I hear him sing "She was a termite / Eating away at my roots" during "They're Not Horses, They're Unicorns" – the connection is made. nbtc__dv_250

While these themes are familiar and have been covered on the band's previous releases, the music still remains fresh enough. Lead guitarist Jack O'Shea, bassist Nick Ghanbarian, and drummer Chris Guglielmo put time into these tracks. They have been playing together since 2006 so the musical tightness you'd expect is there. Guglielmo contributes a driving drumbeat that begins "Sinking And Swimming On Long Island" and his groove on "Seeing Sound" should be commended. Sure, there are parts in the songs that sound vaguely familiar, but I have spent hours upon hours with the band's material, so casual fans may not pick up on it. "Seeing Sound" is the track that I return to frequently. The music seems more urgent than on other tracks. Another strong track is "Doing It The Wrong Way." 

Bottomline, I am a Bayside fan. I have all of their previous releases. Most of the lyrics Raneri sang on the band's previous four releases have been committed to my memory. This release could have been disappointing. They could have thrown together material that doesn't make an emotional connection with the listener. Like "Blame It On Bad Luck," "No One Understands,” and "Guardrail," the ten songs on this release succeed because of the connection between the material and the listener. I’m looking forward to catching the band on tour this spring.

Rating: A

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