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BAYSIDE – KILLING TIME (Advance Album Review)

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517EIl0OIL. SL500 AA300 One of the buzz bands of the early-mid 2000’s explosion of emo-driven rock, BAYSIDE first my radar with their first two releases on Chicago’s Victory Records, 2004’s SIRENS AND CONDOLENCES, and 2005’s BAYSIDE. Either by timing or presentation, those albums always seemed to place the band as a third-tier artist among then-labelmates TAKING BACK SUNDAY and THURSDAY. By the time their next pair of albums rolled around, I’d moved on and lost interest. Now, with the release of KILLING TIME (out February 22, 2011 via Wind-up) my interest has returned, and after hearing it I’m fairly certain that I won’t be alone.

Paired with Producer GIL NORTON, a man who placed his stamp on the 90’s alternative scene by working with THE PIXIES, DEL AMITRI, K’s CHOICE, COUNTING CROWS, and more, along with producing more recently for FOO FIGHTERS, DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL, and JIMMY EAT WORLD, BAYSIDE feels like a band that has moved from the shadows and has finally grown into their own skin.

BAYSIDE sounds bigger, with memorable harmonies and solid structure, the heavy guitar crunch riding perfectly beneath Anthony Raneri’s melodic vocals. “Mona Lisa” is a perfect song to impact the mainstream rock world, while “Seeing Sound” brings a swingin’ punk groove with a sing-along chorus. Aside from “On Love, On Life,” a Ben Folds-esque piano-driven ballad, the entire album plays like a rock record. It’s the kind of album that would’ve established BAYSIDE as a real force if released earlier in their career, and the one that should do the same right now.

Rating: 4.5/5

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