Bayside – ‘Vacancy’

By Mark McConville

Bayside are an intelligent band. The act from Queens, New York have yet again created a record that delivers intense punk rock that has been littered with statements of intent. And the lyrical quality is always drawn from an intellectual brain. Front-man Anthony Raneri takes influence from his life choices, singing with a unreserved freedom. ‘Vacancy’ showcases his beliefs and grievances. He’s gifted, but honest, he’s fiery and enigmatic. He’s totally immersed in completing a poetic slant and the drama of life only makes him stronger. Stronger in a sense that the music aids him through the darkness and confrontations, the hopelessness and ever changing world.

The band have released six records that are all instantly infections and commendable. Their music has helped the disenchanted, the disenfranchised, the people that choose to be different, unusual in their direction. But, why do we all need to be the same? The world is here for us all, a platform for us to express ourselves through our creativity. ‘Vacancy’ is the next cog in the machine. Their new opus that could be the most revealing album to date. An album that rages on like a bull, a record that doesn’t hold back. And Raneri sparks tension when he sings about losing it all. He also sings about demons and their stronghold, their battle cry.

It opens with a searing guitar line that has been developed by talented hands. Raneri sings about being better is some degree. But is he really? His mind seems to be shattered. ‘Enemy Lines’ yet again pulsates with a great guitar sequence. Raneri explains that he’s the last of his kind. It seems like this song is his war cry, matched by great melody. ‘The Ghost’ opens with Raneri’s unconventional but well-toned voice. The simple riff adds a great instrumental effect. The front-man blares out his reason for change.

Bayside keep delivering music that means a lot to many. On ‘Vacancy’, there’s always a riveting story-line under the weight of the music.

MARK MCCONVILLE.

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