For a band that got their start in the punk and emo scenes of the early 2000’s, one can’t help but be extremely proud of Bayside and how they are currently at the highest level of popularity in their career (although some would argue that this band should have been experiencing this since 2004). Bayside have been extremely consistent throughout their career and singer Anthony Raneri keeps writing these grand, anthemic, punk-rock/emo tracks. Bayside simply don’t have a single a bad album, and it still boggles my mind that it has taken as long as it has for people to really get behind this band.
Cult is the sixth full length release from this band and is just as good as anything else they’ve put their name on. Bayside are a band one can rely on to have at least three killer tracks on each album, containing choruses that will be stuck in your head for weeks after you first listen to the album and this definitely holds true for Cult. The album kicks off with the bombastic drum intro for “Big Cheese,” a classic Bayside track and then neatly moves into “Time Has Come,” which is a little more on the pop-punk end of what this band have written. The next three songs though “Hate Me,” “You’re No Match,” and “Pigsty” are some of the best songs that the band have put their names on, with monumental choruses and direct lyricism that seems very conversational. “Stuttering” might be the best track on the record and really illustrates Raneri’s slightly unfavorable emotions towards the music industry. It gets quite passionate as he tries to get a grip on his role as the frontman in a band and the stipulations that come with that kind of position. It’s a very forward-thinking track for a band that have been around for over a decade and sort of acts a momentary reflection.
The production on this record is fantastic with big drums and even bigger guitars. Everything is very well mixed and the songwriting on this record is probably the strongest the band have ever been. I mentioned before that the band are notorious for having a plethora of songs that will be stuck in your head for days on end, but I think this might be the band’s most memorable album through and through. There is not a single dull moment on the record, unlike a few moments on some previous albums where it starts off and ends strong, but dips just a little in the middle. Overall, while it’s not a perfect album, it might be my new favorite album from them, and that’s after only two listens. No word yet on where Bayside will be this year, but I imagine they’ll show up on a couple festival/tour lineups.