Everyone. I. Know. Likes. Bayside. Okay, this is a bit of an overstatement, but it's not too far from the truth. Some are punk kids, some are just high school kids with hardly any musical experience, and one is a straight edge girl who takes photos for us. I, however, had no idea who they were. I heard their name a lot, but never checked them out. The honest first songs I've heard by this band are the ones from the new album Killing Time, which is of course what I'm reviewing.
This band used to be signed to Victory (this album is on Wind-Up Records), and this album was produced by Gil Norton, who worked with Foo Fighters, The Pixies, Counting Crows, Dashboard Confessional and Jimmy Eat World. What do these two things tell you about this album? It's going to be overproduced. Don't let it turn you off too much, because that's just the judging I made before listening to it. The judging I made after listening to the first song "Already Gone" was...yes it's overproduced, but it's not a turn off. It sounds good, and the I really like the vocalist Anthony's voice. This song is really catchy, while also not being all too original sounding. It has generic guitar tones and a generic sounding guitar solo. It's still pretty catchy, and the chord progression mixed with the strumming pattern reminds me of Billy Talent. The next song "Sick, Sick, Sick" is like this album's single or something. It was posted to be streamed online before the rest of the album became available. It's more catchy stuff that reminds me of other stuff I heard, which is already becoming a recurring theme with this album. It's nothing to write home to mom about, though. She's still backed up sorting through all my letters about how awesome I think The Wonder Years and Bomb the Music Industry are, anyway.
"Mona Lisa" is the first really worth it song for listening to on this album. The thing with me is, I've never listened to much popular music at all. So bands that sound like other popular bands, all sound new to me since I never got into the bands they borrow from. So to me, this song sounds different from anything I've heard. So if I heard from you guys that it's actually generic, then fuck. But, to me, it's the first song that makes me think, "oh, this is what this band sounds like." I think I was right about this, too, because the song after it, "It's Not a Bad Little War", sounds pretty similar to "Mona Lisa". I'm clearly good at this stuff. The vocals in these songs remind me of Motion City Soundtrack, but maybe that's just me. I mean, the dude isn't as good at singing as Justin Pierre, but he's got a voice on him. This band is pretty much characterized by consistent guitar solos, glistening vocals that you want to singalong to, and actually that sums it up pretty well.
"Sinking and Swimming On Long Island" is my favorite song on the album, and I think I may actually write home to mom about it. It's something I can see me uncharacteristically singing along to, almost as much as L.G.F.U.A.D. or whatever that song is by Say Anything that Hollyann always plays in her car. "The Wrong Way" is a pretty catchy song, and sounds different from most of the songs, other than the one right before it. This band is pretty catchy, but nothing special. I think I might get murdered for that statement, but I really went into this with no bias and a completely open mind. Hey, look! A piano song is up next! "On Love, On Life" is a beautiful little piano diddy with uplifting lyrics and I think I'm getting the point of Bayside now. Once you realize the band's musical style isn't extremely varied when compared to other bands or itself, you start to focus on lyrics, and this band actually has lyrics I enjoy.
The last song is also the title track of the album, "Killing Time". There's something else to be noted about this band's style. They have this sort of dark and ominous tone you'd expect to find in Nightmare Before Christmas or in the background to an anime about a troubled ninja. This stuff is really easy to listen to, and it gets points for that. It's not my style, but I also don't adhere strictly to my style. I could see me turning this band on, but there's really a lot more albums I'd rather be listening to. I haven't heard their other albums yet, but I think you should listen to those instead of this one, because I always think a band's older shit is probably better. This one, not bad though. Try it.
PS. I'm seeing them with Polar Bear Club and The Swellers in a couple months. I hear they put on a great live show and are nice dudes.