By Brian Harris
Album Review: Bayside “Cult” by Brian Harris
“Cult” is the latest release from Long Island emo/punk band Bayside, and their first on Hopeless Records. The name for the album, according to lead singer/rhythm guitarist Anthony Raneri in an interview for New Noise magazine, is a tribute to long-time fans of the band.
“Our fans have always called themselves a cult. We thought it was not only a homage to them, but a nod to our own past.,” Raneri said.
Not only is “Cult” a tribute to the fans of Bayside but also serves as a retrospective/greatest hits album without actually being one, according to Raneri.
“When we finished the record and we listened back on it, we sort of felt like it was a discography without using any of our old songs. We felt it was a good example of where we started and where we wound up with Killing Time and everything in between. It’s almost a record where if people say “I’ve never heard Bayside before, where should I start?,” we feel like they should start here (with ‘Cult”),”Raneri said to the website Under The Gun Review.
Having being around for over a decade, Bayside has developed a signature sound as well as lyrical style that have had long-time fans coming back with each and every release and “Cult” has everything that the devoted fans of Bayside desire.
The song that stuck out to me the most on “Cult” was “Stuttering”. In the song, Raneri vents about how after all of these years that people see him a bard of sorts for the lonely and despondent (But if I ever learn to like myself than I’d soon be out of work/Who do I think I’m kidding, like I’m Robert fucking Smith?/Maybe I’m trying to convince myself that I’m someone who’d be missed/Cause I’m the voice of the depressed/And that’s what everyone expects).
Another theme of the album lyrically was Raneri dealing with all of the various changes going one in his life from getting divorced and remarried to becoming a father for the first time along with getting older and looking back and not necessarily being happy with what happened in the past, which he sings about on the song “Objectivist On Fire” (And I am feeling older all the time/Running out of days get it right/I can’t believe I’ve wasted all my life/Chasing after something I was never meant to find).
“Cult” is overall a very satisfying album after the bit-underwhelming “Killing Time”. For long-time fans, this album is yet another solid offering from Bayside and for people who are new to the party, this album is a good starting point to get familiar with a solid band that’s been going strong since the early 2000’s. ****
Recommended Songs: “Big Cheese”, ‘The Whitest Lie”, “Bear With Me”