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Top 25 Albums of 2014 (As Picked By Vas)

by: Vasilis

Better late than never! I have been making “Best Of” lists since 2008 and it is always one of my favorite parts of the year. I love spending copious amounts of time in November and December combing through the releases I loved, the releases I may have slept on and missed entirely from being too busy, and even the releases I didn’t like at first (two of my top 15 albums this year were records I did not like after the first few listens earlier in the year). With that said, 2014 was a great year for music and, next to 2011 (the best year of music in this decade by a mile), this is probably my single favorite top 10 I’ve put together in terms of pure quality of the releases and the bands doing the releasing. I could even extend this to my top 13 albums, all of which hit me especially hard at one point or another.

As always, this is a personal list and is not meant to reflect the 25 best albums released this year; I do have a very specific and select taste in music and do not pretend otherwise. You will not find Taylor Swift, St. Vincent, or FKA Twigs on this list, as their music does not appeal to me (it doesn’t mean it’s not good, it’s just not my thing). Also, I stand by all 25 albums (and 5 EPs) on this list and would recommend them very highly. Without further adieu, here they are! My 25 top albums of 2014.


05. Four Year Strong – Down In History


Favorite Track: “What’s in the Box?”

04. Beach Slang – Cheap Thrills on a Dead End Street


Favorite Track: “American Girls and French Kisses”

03. The Color and Sound – Peace of Mind


Favorite Track: “Cigarettes”

02. Allison Weiss – Remember When


Favorite Track: “Remember When”

01. The Front Bottoms – Rose


Favorite Track: “Jim Bogart”


25. Andrew Jackson Jihad – Christmas Island


Favorite Track: “Temple Grandin”

24. Rx Bandits – Gemini, Her Majesty


Favorite Track: “Wide Open”

23. PrawnKingfisher


Favorite Track: “First as Tragedy, Second as Farce”

22. Somos – Temples of Plenty


Favorite Track: “Dead Wrong”

21. Tiny Moving Parts – Pleasant Living


Favorite Track: “Boxcar”

20. Have Mercy – A Place of Our Own


Favorite Track: “Spacecrafts”

19. Tigers Jaw – Charmer


Favorite Track: “Nervous Kids”

18. Hostage Calm – Die on Stage


Favorite Track: “Your Head / Your Heart”

17. Taking Back Sunday – Hapiness Is…


Favorite Track: “Better Homes and Gardens”

16. The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt


Favorite Track: “Dark Places”

15. Manchester Orchestra – COPE/HOPE


Favorite Track: “Cope”

14. Say Anything – Hebrews

say anything

Favorite Track: “Kall Me Kubrick”



Favorite Track: “Reservoir”

12. You Blew It!Keep Doing What You’re Doing

you blew it

Favorite Track: “Award of the Year Award”

11. Driver Friendly – Unimagined Bridges


Favorite Track: “Stand So Tall (ft. Dan Campbell)”

10. Joyce Manor – Never Hungover Again


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Joyce Manor’s third album Never Hungover Again follows the mold of short songs but is their best work yet. The songs are fun, fast and strike you immediately and display improved musicianship and songwriting. The band hit home on every emotional note, especially on album highlights “Heart Tattoo” and “Schley”.

Favorite Track: “Heart Tattoo”

09. La Dispute – Rooms of the House

la dispute

Warning: Never listen to La Dispute when in a fragile emotional state. The band’s music is saturated with powerful human situations and speak of suffering and pain. Each track is its own story and combines to form the novel that is the band’s third album. Look no further than opener “Hudsonville MI 1956” and “Scenes from Highways 1981-2009” to be brought to the edge of tears.

Favorite Track: “Hudsonville, MI 1956”

08. Modern BaseballYou’re Gonna Miss It All

modern baseball

This album, 10 months after its release, is still a ton of fun to listen to. Sung with an almost noticeable goofy grin, the band’s music doesn’t it take itself too seriously (despite being classified as “emo”) with lyrics about iphones, graduating, and watching TV and brainstorming tattoo ideas with your friends. It’s the album written for 20-somethings by 20-somethings, and it’s a real blast from start to finish. Full Review

Favorite Track: “Your Graduation”

07. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

against me

This album is important, there’s no other way to say it. Laura Jane Grace sings about her experiences as a transgender woman in a way that is eye-opening and empowering to the LGBTQ community. She shines a light on her pain and problems while also speaking of hope and can be a huge stepping point for the community in the punk scene. It doesn’t hurt that the music is edgy and in-your-face, one of their best albums yet. Full Review

Favorite Track: “Black Me Out”

06. Fireworks – Oh, Common Life

fire works 1

Dave Mackinder uses Firework’s third album to pay tribute to his late father (who passed away while the band was on tour in 2011), creating a dark, poppy punk record built around heavier use of keyboards and mellower guitar tones. The band’s fun sound isn’t compromised though (as is evident on the upbeat “Play ‘God Only Knows’ at My Funeral” and “Flies on Tape”). This album builds off the band’s incredible sophomore effort Gospel and takes their sound to places it’s never gone before. Full Review

Favorite Track: “Run, Brother, Run”

05. I Am the AvalancheWolverines

i am 1

Sporting a ferocious bite (much like the band’s sophomore LP Avalanche United), Long Island’s I Am the Avalanche present a personal and heartfelt punk album. Wolverines is an ode to life, including the good (friends getting married on the feverishly quick “177”) and the bad (becoming addicted to pain killers on punchy “The Shape I’m In”). The band continues to improve with every release and have found their niche. Full Review

Favorite Track: “Young Kerouacs”

04. Bayside – CULT


CULT is a celebration of everything Bayside have accomplished over their career (the band turns 15 in 2015). The album is a “greatest hits” of sorts, combining elements of each of their five prior studio albums to create a perfect snapshot of the band’s classic sound. Album highlights include the explosive opener “Big Cheese”, the sweet and sincere “Transitive Property” and the introspective “Objectivist on Fire”. Full Review

Favorite Track: “Objectivist On Fire”

03. The Hotelier – Home, Like Noplace Is There


Sometimes a band comes seemingly out of nowhere and sweeps the scene off their feet. The Hotelier was that band and Home, Like Noplace Is There was that album in 2014. Stunningly sincere, personal, and brilliant musically and lyrically, this album is a masterpiece reminiscent of a veteran band and not a group that is releasing their sophomore album. Home, Like Noplace Is There has the chance to define the “emo revival” genre for years to come. Opener “An Introduction to the Album” and closer “Dendron” are two of the best songs of the year and wonderfully bookmark this album.

Favorite Track: “The Scope of All This Rebuilding”

02. The Menzingers – Rented World


At this point, no one should be surprised at all at what The Menzingers can do and instead should wonder what can’t the band do? Their fourth album follows their 2012 magnum opus On the Impossible Past and is well-crafted and personal. Opener “I Don’t Wanna Be an Asshole Anymore” and lead single “In Remission” are two of the best songs the band has written, and the acoustic closer “When You Died” is an unexpected wonderful change of pace for the band. Full Review

Favorite Track: “In Remission”

01. Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties – We Don’t Have Each Other


There’s not much I can say about this album (or Dan Campbell from The Wonder Years) that I haven’t said in my many reviews of his work. His storytelling is impeccable and he continues to push his capabilities further with every album and project. Full Review

Favorite Track: “Carolina Coast”

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The Best from the First Half of 2014

by Vasilis

It seems like just yesterday that we were ringing in the New Year, and yet the calendar has already found July. With the year already half-over, it’s that time to look back at some of the best the music world has had to offer us, and there sure has been a lot of great albums. There are still a number of promising albums anticipated for the months between July and December, but it’s going to be tough to live up to the incredible first half of music we had in 2014.

As always, this list is completely subjective, so you may not like the albums I’ve picked and may not even know who they are. Additionally, there are plenty of great albums that were released outside of the genres I normally listen to, but this list will be fairly contained within my personal favorite genres and artists. Still, I stand by every one of these pieces of music being important and worth your time and attention. So without further delay, I bring you my 10 favorite albums from 2014 (so far).

10) Tigers Jaw – Charmer


The band’s newest full-length was originally supposed to be their last after their supposed break-up last year, but the indie-emo favorites are not done yet. After such a solid and complete work, that’s good news.

09) Manchester Orchestra – COPE


            Open the windows up and crank the volume up to eleven on COPE, Manchester Orchestra’s awaited follow-up to Simple Math. Focusing primarily on guitar, this album features some great lyrics and aggressive songs from “Top Notch” straight through the closer, Cope.

08) Say Anything – Hebrews

say anything

            A rock album with no guitars may not sound enticing to many, but the always-inventive Max Bemis makes it work on the unapologetic, insanely brass Hebrews. Max invites his friends and fellow musicians to sing along on this album, which takes risks and features some of the band’s most aggressive and inventive work, as is evident on songs like “Hebrews” and “Kall Me Kubrick”.

07) You Blew It! – Keep Doing What You’re Doing

you blew it

            You Blew It! put together one of the best emo albums of the year so far by enlisting the help of Evan Weiss (The Progress, Into It. Over It., Their/They’re/There, Pet Symmetry) as producer. It does wonders, as the sound and vocals are noticeably is crisper and less muddled than on their debut. Songs like “Award of the Year Award” and “Better to Best” are catchy and fun while remaining emotionally heavy and relatable.

06) Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss It All

modern baseball

You’re Gonna Miss It All is the fun, care-free college-aged emo you grew up with. The band waxes poetic about iPhones and Instagram accounts but still find time to get serious when necessary and think about the future. It’s an entertaining album about growing up from a young band that still has a lot of growing up to do.

05) Fireworks – Oh, Common Life


Fireworks remain one of the most creative and talented bands in the pop punk scene which is often oversaturated with mediocrity and bands mimicking one another. Oh, Common Lifeis the latest addition to a solid discography and builds on their best album Gospel. Dealing primarily with the death of vocalist Dave Mackinder’s father, the album is a dark look at everyday life built with solid instrumentation and heartfelt lyrics.

04) Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues


Transgender Dysphoria Blueswill not go down as the best album of the year, but it certainly will go down as one of the most important. It’s open and honest in a way we’ve never seen about being transgender, a topic so few know about. Laura Jane Grace’s personal experiences throughout her life build a solid foundation, and the music and lyrics are urgent and in-your face. This album shows the band still has a lot left in the tank and serves as one of the best of their career.

03) I Am the Avalanche – Wolverines


It was great to only have to wait two and a half year for a new I Am the Avalanche album as opposed to the six-year wait for their sophomore album. Wolverineshas a sharp bite to it, as Vinnie Caruana’s screams are as harsh as ever. The album focuses on what the band does best: blue color punk/hardcore with relatable lyrics and that classic New York style to it. Songs like “177” and “Anna Lee” are some of the best in the band’s catalog.

02) Bayside – CULT


“Bayside is a Cult” has been the rallying cry for as long as the band has had their well-established fanbase. On CULT, the band’s sixth studio album, the group draws influences from their whole catalog to create a complete work with a little bit of everything that makes Bayside great. Just another solid release for the boys from Queens, New York.


01)  The Menzingers – Rented World 


            The task of following up an album as impressive and acclaimed as On the Impossible Task is no easy feat, but Philadelphia punk band The Menzingers succeed in proving they’re up to the task with Rented World. Though not as memorable, it improves upon the sound they crafted on the last release and continues their knack for punchy tunes and relatable songwriting. “In Remission” and “Rodent” are two of the best songs I’ve heard so far this year.

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Five Memorable Band Logos

by Vasilis

Four years ago, Bayside frontman Anthony Raneri took to his tumblr to point out that a Mexican phone company had stolen the band’s beloved bird logo and was using it for their ads. Nothing came of it, and fans and the band went on with their lives. On March 29, the band announced via Youtube that the company went on to trademark the logo after being approached by the band; as a result, Bayside lost all rights to their bird. The band seemed visibly agitated by this outcome, talking about how important that symbol is to the fans and the band members (all of whom have it tattooed on their bodies). Thankfully, the band revealed this to be no more than a slick, albeit a sloppy, April Fool’s joke, but a joke that came as a huge relief to their fans.


Though it was only a joke, I was deeply troubled and saddened when I thought the band had lost the rights; it almost felt like a part of the band had been callously stripped away from me. While I’m glad Bayside gets to keep their bird, it got me to thinking about the idea of a band logo and why they mean so much. On the surface, it’s just a picture that could have been lifted from Google, scribbled carelessly by a friend or band member, and a placeholder that means nothing at all to band members at the time it was rendered. However, a good band logo can end up as a symbol of what the band’s music stands for and, as a result, becomes a visual representation of an auditory medium and adds another layer to the band.


Some of the most famous band logos, from the Rolling Stones tongue to the Black Flag bars, have been tattooed on countless fans, replicated in various parodies and designs, referenced in other forms of art, and printed on thousands of t-shirts. Long after these bands stop making music, their logo continues to impact the culture and the people who connected with the music. So in honor of Bayside’s poorly planned prank, I thought I would share my five favorite logos.


What started as a joke has become a symbol of everything The Wonder Years’ music stands for. Hank the Pigeon was born when the band began to identify themselves as pigeons of the pop punk scene – nobody wants pigeons around, but they persevere and survive just fine anyways, much like the band did in their early days. The logo was drawn by James Heimer, an artist friend, and has since become a staple on merch and in fanart. The band took it a step further when they developed a Hank suit and brought the pigeon to life and concerts, music videos, album covers, and band appearance. If you mention Hank The Pigeon at a pop punk show, you bet everyone will know exactly what you’re talking about.


At its core, Rise Against stands for fighting for what you believe in and showing love and passion for what you fight for. As a result, their most famous logo captures the essence of their music perfectly. The logo features a fist encompassed by a heart, representing the passion and perseverance exhibited in their music. Rebellion is essential, but it should be done through love and not through violence or misguided anger. There are very few logos I can think of that properly dictate the message a band is going for as well as this.


Before Blink-182, there was Nirvana. The original smiley face logo also featured x’s over the eyes, as well as a drooling tongue. This logo came to encompass the dazed and apathetic attitude expressed by Kurt Cobain and that represented the 90’s grunge scene; the smiley face depicted what seemed to be a drugged expression representing false happiness to mask pain and anxiety. Like many of the best band logos, the origin is not entirely clear and the meaning is up for constant debate. The mystery behind the logo makes it just as iconic as the drawing itself, but once it caught one it stuck with the band for the entirety of their careers.


The Bad Religion “cross buster” is probably the most misunderstood band logo in history. It has often been treated as hostile and hateful but really just encompasses the idea that the band does not subscribe to the idea of religion. It is not a logo that is meant to put down anyone else’s beliefs or combat the validity of religion but just meant to say “no religion here”, which should be clear just by seeing the punk band’s name. The “cross buster” insignia was hastily scribbled by a band member and has survived for the duration of the band’s incredible 30-plus year history, and will likely stay forever as a symbol of the band. The “cross buster” remains one of the most well-known designs in punk.


I would be both a bad punk fan and bad Queens resident if I didn’t put the Ramones on this list, but it’s impossible to neglect this logo’s legacy. Designed by New York City artist Arturo Vega, the Ramones circular emblem has been recreated time and time again by so many different entities, but everyone knows where it’s originally from when they see it. Even people who know nothing about The Ramones or punk music know where this comes from when they see it. The seal is American as can be, even featuring the eagle holding a baseball bat, and pays homage to their most famous track “Blitzkrieg Bop” with the words “Hey Ho, Let’s Go” written inside. In a genre with some of the most memorable logos, this one remains the most iconic.

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First Impressions – Bayside

By Ryan, contributing writer


I’ve heard the name Bayside kicked around before, and I’ve never looked into them too much. But, with the advent of this new column, I’m finally getting a chance to check them out. The only thing I really know going into this is that they’re a rock band. That’s it. And, that they have cool album covers.

Regardless, I’ve been texted my instructions. I’m going to listen to “Devotion and Desire” off of their self-titled album, “Sick, Sick, Sick” from their album Killing Time, and “Landing Feet First” from The Walking Wounded. The Walking Wounded also happens to be Vas’s favorite album and the track “Landing Feet First” is Cherie’s favorite song by Bayside. You can probably surmise that she was the one who chose the tracks for this segment of First Impressions.

First off, we have “Devotion and Desire”. I like their sound right off the bat. The guitar work is great and the little lead-in reminds me of harmonic metal guitar work but not as complex or screechy. The guitar work afterward is fairly straightforward, but works well. The music is something I would listen to regularly. However, and this is a major point, I’m not a fan of the vocals. I’ve always had a particular aversion to certain vocal qualities that crop up in various genres of music. For instance, I love metal, but I don’t like black metal vocals. The pig squealing and ultra-deep and guttural vocals are just ridiculous. But, anyway, back to Bayside. I’ve always had an aversion to the pop-punk/new-emo vocals. His voice doesn’t always cut into the whiny quality that I’m not a fan of, but when it does, it puts me off. It doesn’t make me hate the track at all, though. It’s just one of my pet peeves. I’m a fan of what I’ve heard so far; so, let’s see what the next track brings.

“Sick, Sick, Sick” (from Killing Time) is another instrumentally sound track that I dig. This track is still energetic, but not as fast-paced as “Devotion and Desire”. As with almost all other music known to man, this track is about being heartbroken and feeling (you guessed it) … sick. Although these kinds of lyrics are common throughout music, I think that it is again the vocals that make me not feel attached to the song. I don’t feel any power or rage behind his voice. It’s all just sort of present. It doesn’t grab me by the heartstrings and drag up memories of exes and mistakes.

Finally, we have “Landing Feet First” from The Walking Wounded. I think I’ve actually heard this song before (most likely on a roadtrip with Cherie). This is what this man’s voice was made for. This is the most appropriate track for his vocal style. It’s almost Weezer-like in a way, a much more gentle presentation with a mellow rock instrumental. I’m a big fan of this track.

bayside bird

All in all, I liked my introduction to Bayside. I’m going to listen to more of their music for a more rounded opinion, but I’m probably just going to pick and choose the mellower tracks for a specific playlist so I’m not skipping through entire albums to find them. The takeaway from this is that I’m very picky with vocals and that you shouldn’t let that stop you from checking out Bayside yourself.

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Five Can’t Miss Spring Tours

by Vasilis

The calendar may read “March”, but much of the country was treated to another dose of snow this past Monday, leading many to dream of springtime. While the vernal equinox is still two weeks away, bands are already packing their gear, picking their setlists, saying their goodbyes to their hometown and making the final preparations for their spring headlining tours. While winter is usually reserved for short tours or hometown shows, spring is where bands travel extensively across the country to support their latest releases. This spring is no different, and while it’s impossible to include every tour worth checking out, I wanted to run through some of the most intriguing tours happening between March and May.


The Great American Cult Tour” is a long time coming for Bayside. Although they have maintained a steady, cult-like level of popularity over their career, the band has not done a full solo headlining tour since their 2008 album Shudder. It’s hard to believe their brilliant 2011 release Killing Time only resulted in co-headliners (with Saves the Day, Silverstein, and Senses Fail) and supporting spots (with Taking Back Sunday and Alkaline Trio). Finally, Bayside have the chance to put together a longer setlist to properly do justice to their six-album catalog; look for some rare, deep cuts thrown into their set. Also worth noting is the presence of Four Year Strong, who have remained relatively inactive since their divisive 2011 effort In Some Way, Shape, Or Form. It will be interesting to see how the lack of shows has affected the band and if they will stick to mostly old songs on this run. Daylight and Mixtapes round out the tour, adding some variety and making this one of the “can’t miss” shows of the spring. The tour kicks off on March 5 in Cleveland and winds down on April 5 in Worchester.


This is the tour I am most excited for. After releasing the fantastic conclusion to their coming-of-age conceptual trilogy, The Wonder Years are taking some friends on the road in support of The Greatest Generation. While many may complain that it’s a predictable line-up, the tour contains some interesting, rapidly growing bands. Boston hardcore band Defeater had to drop the tour due to vocalist Derek Archambault’s health problems, resulting in Fireworks, Michigan pop punk band and long-time friends of The Wonder Years, stepping in to fill the supporting slot. Additionally, Citizen and Real Friends, two bands that have become darlings of the pop punk scene, are sure to bring along their own dedicated following. Opening the bill is up-and-coming emo band Modern Baseball, fresh off the release of their stellar sophomore album You’re Gonna Miss It All. The Wonder Years should be playing the longest set of their careers and are playing in front of the largest crowds of their career, which includes an already sold-out show at the 2,000 plus capacity Best Buy Theater in New York City. This fast-selling tour begins on March 5 in Clifton Park NY and concludes on April 18 in New Jersey.


In what is sure to be the most emotionally-charged tour of the spring, La Dispute is taking out Pianos Become The Teeth and Mansions on a month-long tour to support their third album Rooms of the House. These shows will feature three bands that offer a mix of hardcore, indie, and emo to create dark, tortured emotional music, which will require a box of tissues and a well-rested set of lungs in order to scream along to. La Dispute’s following has increased tremendously since their 2011 sophomore effort Wildlife, and teaming up with Pianos Become the Teeth is a logical move. Mansions are sure to get some good exposure opening for this tour and their dark, brooding style is sure to appeal to La Dispute fans. This tour, which already boasts an impressive number of sold-out shows, begins on March 14 in North Carolina and winds down on April 14 in Cleveland.


It’s hard to ignore a tour that sold out two New York City shows within a day of their release and had to add a third show due to “overwhelming demand”. Who knew Taking Back Sunday and The Used would still have so much pull in 2014? The two giants, who played together in support of Blink-182 in 2004, team up 10 years later for a monstrous headlining tour. Both bands have tasted mainstream success, attained gold and platinum album status, and signed with major record labels, but the bands are each set to release their respective albums in the Spring on indie powerhouse Hopeless Records. The move should be a good litmus test for each band, demonstrating how successful the bands still are and can be in a smaller label than they are accustomed to. Joining the bill is female-fronted Australian pop punk band Tonight Alive and new Spencer Chamberlain (ex-Underoath) project Sleepwave. The tour begins on March 14 in Dallas and concludes on April 27 in Orlando.


I like to call this the “Friends of Brand New” tour. While this line-up would have been perfect opening for the Long Island recluses, it’s exciting to see Manchester Orchestra embark on a nice, long tour with a couple friends. For lack of a better term, this tour is going to be “heavy” (musically and emotionally) in the best possible way as Manchester Orchestra support their long-awaited fourth album Cope. Coming along for the ride are the always incredible Balance & Composure, who put on one of the best live shows in music today, and the likable Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band, who is fresh off his highly successful crowd funded double album and whose live show continues to grow. This has a chance to be one of the most impressive “under-the-radar” tours of the spring, but with three stellar live bands, it’s one not to be missed. The tour kicks off on April 17 in Tampa and winds down on May 31 in Nashville.

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Bayside Celebrate Cult

by Vasilis, contributing writer

Bayside is a four-piece punk band that has been around for fourteen years. They write loud, ambitious songs and play high-energy shows. But for many, Bayside is more than a band; Bayside is a family. “Bayside is a cult”.

From the beginning of their existence, fans have adopted this rallying cry to show the community the band’s music has created. There is nothing negative about this cult. There is no psychotic leader, no brainwashed followers, and no mass suicides. The term “cult” is an endearing symbol of the struggles and hard work that exemplifies not only the band, but their fans as well.


When Bayside announced that their sixth album would be called Cult, it felt like a second self-titled record and a refresh for the band. Following a bad relationship with Victory Records and an uneventful one with Wind-Up, the band signed to indie giant Hopeless Records (Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard, The Wonder Years), and marched ahead with resolve and determination. Leading up to the reveal of the Cult album cover, the band posted images of each of their prior albums, showing signs of a unified effort that drew on all their past work.

Musically and lyrically, Cult is the same Bayside you have come to know. The Queens NY rockers pull no punches on this 11-song album, delivering an unrelenting attack with the typical anger and aggression that has defined their back catalog. For those who thought frontman Anthony Raneri’s marriage and the birth of his child might slow down his bitter, scathing lyrics, they’ll be happy to know it has not. “Pigsty” angrily asserts “Your name is dirt/and I got you under my nails/from clawing to freedom/I’ve been buried below your dark trails”. The topic of Anthony’s ex-wife drives the album’s lyrics, continuing the trend from their 2011 album Killing Time. The chorus of “You’re No Match” proves to be as catchy as anything the band has ever recorded; the lines “you’re the monster I was scared you’d be/and now you’re blaming it on your surroundings/and your horns came out so gradually/but honey, you’re no match for me” are infectious in large part to Anthony’s confidence and bravado.

Musically, the album doesn’t fall too far from the band’s past work, but that doesn’t mean they sticks to one formula. Opener “Big Cheese” is heavier than most fans are accustomed to, charging in with Chris Guglielmo’s explosive drum work and Anthony and Jack O’Shea’s dynamic riff. Like most Bayside songs, Jack O’Shea steals the show with a face-melting guitar solo on almost every track. Lead single “Time Has Come” is the closest the band has come to writing a catchy radio-ready punk song. The middle section of this album shows how Bayside can continue to create relatable hits by sticking to their unique, identifiable sound.

The album hits its stride with “Transitive Property”, a rare Bayside love song which sees Anthony asking forgiveness from his wife after a fight that almost ended their relationship. The song is the closest the album has to a slow ballad and works due to its anthemic chorus and honest lyrics. “Objectivist on Fire” is one of the most well-thought out Bayside songs in recent memory, a slowed-down tune that showcases Anthony’s vocal range as he questions if he will ever find the true love he has desperately searched for and lost. To anyone who has ever lost “the one”, the chorus, “And I am feeling older all the time/running out of days to get it right/I can’t believe I’ve wasted all my life/chasing after something I was never meant to find” will hit very close to home. Cult is a stellar addition to the Bayside collection and one that fans will continue coming back to.

To celebrate Cult’s release, Bayside cleverly planned a secret show in a small bar in Amityville, Long Island. The band released a video for “Hate Me” which was performed by the imaginary band Caraboo. A Caraboo twitter page popped up and announced they would be playing their first show on Tuesday, February 18. The venue posted an image of the Bayside bird and announced that Caraboo tickets would be sold in person the night before at the bar at 9pm Fans wised up to the surprise but the anticipation and excitement at seeing such an intimate Bayside show was palpable.


Following an acoustic performance at Looney Tunes in West Babylon, Bayside took the stage shortly before 10pm in front of 200 devout fans and drew a wild ovation. The band opened their set with the first five tracks from their new album. As fans cheered on the live debuts of the new songs, the band announced they would play some older tunes before diving into “Devotion and Desire”, “Montauk”, and “Blame it On Bad Luck”. These cuts whipped the audience into a frenzy, inspiring the sweat-soaked crowd to sing along to these Bayside classics. The band played everything from old (“Guardrail”) to new (“Big Cheese”) and even threw in a cover of “Good Things” by The Menzingers for good measure. The crowd gave every last bit of energy they had when the band closed their 13-song set with their Bayside closer “Dear Tragedy”, sending the fans home happy.

Though only playing for about an hour, Bayside commanded the stage with ease and showed their consistently solid live show is just as good in a small room as it is in a large concert hall that holds thousands. The band seemed genuinely enthused by the crowd reaction and happy with the work they have put in with Cult. Bayside has stuck around for so long mainly due to their hard-working attitude, great songwriting and live show, and die-hard fanbase; these elements were on full display on February 18, a day the band celebrated the release of their newest album and fans celebrated the love and devotion they have for Bayside. It was a special night for everyone involved.


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Bayside – “Mona Lisa”

Today’s music Monday song comes from Bayside’s 2011 release, Killing Time. No punches are spared in this scathingly aggressive “fuck you” to a failed former relationship. “You made your bed, now go die in it” Raneri bluntly states at one point, following up with the more poignant “you’re the black ice on my road to wholesome” later on. It’s this mix of poetic witticism and aggressively honest lyrics that make Bayside such a great bandas well as the fact that they put on a fantastic live show. Their sixth studio album, Cult, is out tomorrow, February 19th, and I for one am excited to hear what it sounds like. 

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Filed under music monday