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Bayside - Shudder Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7.75
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 7
Production 8
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 7
Reviewer Tilt 6.75
Final Verdict: 74%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.04
Musicianship 7.17
Lyrics 7.42
Production 7.08
Creativity 6.96
Lasting Value 7.75
Reviewer Tilt 8
Average: 73%
Inside AP.net

Bayside - Shudder

Reviewed by: OKComputer1016 (11/13/08)
Bayside - Shudder
Record Label: Victory Records
Release Date: September 30, 2008

Just a quick glance at the song titles should confirm to you that Bayside have not strayed very far from their usual template with Shudder (“No One Understands” is a particularly blatant heart-on-sleeve tune, and don’t overlook its defeated twin “I Can’t Go On.”) So on the one hand, you can give Bayside credit for staying true to their fans by continuing to rip off Alkaline Trio as hard as they possibly can. And, luckily, their style of catchy and honest pop-punk doesn’t grow irritating by record number four.

However, as with 2007’s The Walking Wounded, there are a few production flourishes that I could have lived without. With that album, you got your random waltz-breakdown right at the front of the album kicking off the title track; here the sequencing is a little smarter. Shudder opens with vintage Bayside in the track “Boy”, establishing the tone of the rest of the songs to come. It’s only when you get to the halfway point and meet “I Can’t Go On” that you’ll become frustrated. This tracks 80’s-leaning guitars come off very U2, even though you can tell the group was aiming more for the All American Rejects. When this track winds up as a single, which I pretty much guarantee it will, it’s going to definitely be annoying. Be sure the rest of the album doesn’t sound like that.

“Demons” sounds ‘matured’ as well, but this time they pull it off a little better. It’s nowhere near highlighting the album, but at least it sounds like Bayside and not the production team assisting Bayside. “Moceano” is an almost-ambitious closer (and by ambitious I mean that Bayside attempted to clone Alkaline Trio again by closing with an acoustic based piece) but the Panic-y spelling cuteness (“C-H-A-N-C-E-S pass me by”, etc.) get really old really quick. Also, I’m not going to criticize Anthony Raneri’s overemotive vocals, because that’s the staple main focus of Bayside’s music – but you can’t help but feel like it’s a little bit over done in this song. He needs to M-E-L-L-O-W O-U-T.

The point is, although no Bayside release is ever going to be wholly disappointing, Shudder is pretty hit or miss. You’ll skip around a lot. But, really, it’s worth it to hear the good tracks on here (“The Ghost of St. Valentine”, “What and What Not”, “Have Fun Storming the Castle”.) This isn’t their strongest set of songs, but Bayside definitely hasn’t lost it.

Recommended If You Like:
Alkaline Trio, Smoking Popes, every other Bayside album

Check It:
www.myspace.com/bayside
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 17.
10:10 PM on 11/13/08
#2
LongDistanceDrunk
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Great review. I do love this album but your criticisms were valid. I really like your reviewing style. You can actually be critical of an album that you enjoy. This is something we need more of on AP. We get reviews that are just gushing love letters for an above average album. I really look forward to reading your future reviews.
12:33 AM on 11/14/08
#3
TSLROCKS
Knicks 2016 World Champions!
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Really like this review. Good job with all these new reviews
07:18 AM on 11/14/08
#4
slimfenix182
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Good review. Do they give off the same VIBE as Alkaline Trio? Yes. But to say they rip them off as hard as they can? That's bs. I know every AT song ever made, and I have never listened to a Bayside song and said, "Oh, this sounds like that Alkaline Trio song." Bayside completely has their own sound. But like I said, still one of the better reviews I've read on this site.
01:55 PM on 11/14/08
#5
Roboman
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Yeah, I wouldn't call "writing mostly depressed music" "ripping of Alkaline Trio as hard as [one] possibly can". Last I checked, Bayside wasn't singing about going to the river to wash off crimson hands.
02:44 PM on 11/14/08
#6
heyzombiehitler
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I await the day a Bayside conversation or review goes on without the words "Alkaline" or "Trio". But oh well. I love both bands.
09:48 PM on 11/14/08
#7
Frinet
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Great review. I do love this album but your criticisms were valid. I really like your reviewing style. You can actually be critical of an album that you enjoy. This is something we need more of on AP. We get reviews that are just gushing love letters for an above average album. I really look forward to reading your future reviews.

I dunno, the snarkyness right up front in the beginning kinda put me off for the rest of the review, but I do agree that its good to be critical of an album that you enjoy.

Good review. Do they give off the same VIBE as Alkaline Trio? Yes. But to say they rip them off as hard as they can? That's bs. I know every AT song ever made, and I have never listened to a Bayside song and said, "Oh, this sounds like that Alkaline Trio song." Bayside completely has their own sound. But like I said, still one of the better reviews I've read on this site.

AGREED!
10:29 PM on 11/14/08
#8
Iwudstilldie4u
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I liked this review...glad to see not everyone is on the Bayside bandwagon
(Makes it a little more special that I do like them)
08:13 AM on 11/15/08
#9
drakey
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I agree with this review, mostly. This album is great, but it's definately not as good as "The Walking Wounded" or their self-titled. I think maybe they could of spent a little time recording. It feels like just yesterday that "The Walking Wounded" was released and that album is definatley something that raises expectations. As for Bayside being Alkaline Trio 2.0, I think both bands explore similar genres and stylings, but, while Alkaline Trio has been around a few years more, Bayside exposes a bit more talents and emotion, and they proggress a lot faster.
09:52 AM on 11/15/08
NateFoundGlory
Why do you stay till you see blood?
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Eeek. I thought this album was perfect, minus the annoying "Howard" and that little sing/burp thing Anthony does when he says 'burn' in "Demons".

Maybe I just have a Bayside boner. Either way, I get the A3 comparisons a bit, but not to the point of 'ripping them off'. I woulda given the cd a 90%, but to each his own.
10:31 AM on 11/15/08
BigWille24302
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The "ripping off of alkaline trio" part was unnecessary. That just seems like hate to me.
05:46 PM on 11/15/08
Burn That Shit
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Quote:
So on the one hand, you can give Bayside credit for staying true to their fans by continuing to rip off Alkaline Trio as hard as they possibly can.

Yeah because Alkaline Trio were the first people ever to make depressing pop punk tunes, or depressing music at all for that matter. I usually like your reviews man but I just don't agree with that quote, at all.
09:58 AM on 11/16/08
singyoutocoma
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Eeek. I thought this album was perfect, minus the annoying "Howard" and that little sing/burp thing Anthony does when he says 'burn' in "Demons".

Maybe I just have a Bayside boner. Either way, I get the A3 comparisons a bit, but not to the point of 'ripping them off'. I woulda given the cd a 90%, but to each his own.
Pretty much agree; "Howard" and "Demons" fall flat, but the rest of these songs are gems, especially"I Can't Go On." Also, despite all the comparisons, Alk3 and Bayside just don't sound very similar at all.

Oh, and not to be an ass, but *"Moceanu."
11:15 AM on 11/16/08
newfoundmichael
@SirDaveyBoy
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While I understand your view that Bayside rips off Alkaline Trio, I don't think it is that bad. Jack O' Shea shreads harder on the guitar then Skiba and crew do on any one Trio song for sure. Good review though, man. I think I would have given this a bit higher of a score.
11:51 AM on 11/16/08
cscwell107
You Will Always Have My Attention
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I agree with the first review much more than this one.
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