Bayside: ‘Cult’

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Bayside reminds me of my “sk8r grl” phase (refer to bio), although their first album, Sirens and Condolences, came out in 2004; I was in the 4th grade. However, if I had known of them in my teenage years, I’m sure they would’ve ranked right up there with My Chemical Romance and Good Charlotte (refer to bio). I hope that is not offensive; I really liked MCR and GC. Bayside consists of Anthony Raneri for vocals and guitar, Jack O’Shea for lead guitar, Nick Ghanbarian for bass, and Chris Guglielmo for drums. Bayside’s newest album, Cult, is similar to Sirens and Condolences in its natural and coarse sound. Cult is full of angst and rebellion, very nostalgic of the early 2000’s for most of their listeners. Bayside has come 10 years since their first album and has somewhat become a cult of their own in that the quantity of their followers has greatly increased. And for long-time Bayside fans, this album fits perfectly into their discography.

Furthermore, Bayside is a perfect example of that punk-pop sound listeners must have an “acquired taste” for. Bayside is currently touring with similar styled bands as Four Year Strong, Daylight, and Mixtapes in the Great American Cult Tour. Dates below.

Cult opens with a drum roll and a vengeful guitar in “Big Cheese”. The guitar riffs seem to be specific to Cult, especially in this piece. They are sharp and swift, and somehow remind me of Power Rangers… Interestingly, there are group lyrics, similar to gang chanting. This definitely brings about the “cult” feel of the album, as if Bayside is starting a revolution. It seems an appropriate piece to open. Raneri sings, “I love to be wanted, but all I want is to be loved. Is that so much to be remembered, never swept under the rug?” Bayside makes a comeback and wants their followers to know it, although I don’t think they ever forgot.

Raneri’s rough voice carries the rebellious sound of the album throughout, and the gang singing continues to make his voice seem more powerful, as in “Time Has Come”. Angst is obvious in the lyrics as Raneri sings in “Hate Me”, “We’re perfect as perfect can be. I hate you and, baby, you hate me.” There continues to be a sense of opposition throughout the album, whether it is against the subject of the songs, authority, or time.

“Transitive Property” is a slower melody and somewhat melancholy, but not to the point of depression. Bayside’s soft side comes out when Raneri sings, “You’re my rock, if I’m still yours”. It is a relaxing piece compared to the high energy of the bulk of the album. “Objectivist on Fire” continues the solemn atmosphere with solo vocals.

The album ends with “The Whitest Lie”, which opens with the guitar riff that we hear in “Big Cheese”. Here is the most prevalent use of the gang singing, and Bayside suddenly seems like an army. Bayside isn’t just a cult with a following; it is a voice for the angry and the hurt. They embody grit and heartbreak, and the album ends on an empowering note.

The Great American Cult Tour:
3/5 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
3/6 – Pontiac, MI @ The Crofoot Ballroom
3/7 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
3/8 – Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
3/9 – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
3/11 – Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
3/12 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Club Sound
3/14 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
3/15 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
3/16 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
3/18 – Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
3/19 – Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Live
3/20 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
3/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues
3/22 – Tempe, AZ @ Club Red
3/24 – Dallas, TX @ The Door
3/25 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
3/26 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Studio
3/28 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
3/29 – Orlando, FL @ Beacham Theater
3/30 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
4/1 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
4/2 – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
4/3 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero
4/4 – New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater
4/5 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium

Nikki grew up in an imitation German town in Georgia by the name of Helen. It wasn’t until middle school that she started to get interested in the arts: painting, music, and writing. She wrote in her diary, sketched in art class and listened to regretful music. By high school, her tastes became a little more refined. She found Fiona Apple, Lou Reed and Giant Drag, and they remain her favorites in college. She was accepted to the University of Georgia in 2012 and is currently majoring in English. Upon moving to Athens from a town with more trees than people, Nikki was a bit overwhelmed. However, there is certainly no lack of inspiration in Athens, and she appreciates its love for the arts and its service as a platform.

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