By: Allyce Andrew

The relentlessly emo rockers of Bayside recently released Killing Time, their first record since 2008’s Shudder. Vocalist and guitarist Anthony Raneri, drummer Chris Guglielmo, guitarist Jack O’Shea, and bassist Nick Ghanbarian create another classic for fans that have been following the band since their formation in Queens, New York over ten years ago.

The fast-paced album was recorded at Dreamland Studios in Woodstock, New York as well as Water Music in Hoboken, New Jersey with producer Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies, Jimmy Eat World). Killing Time shows the full maturity of the band as it swings from full forced angst anthems with pop-punk tendencies to orchestrated tracks touching on heartbreak and hope. Killing Time also marks Bayside’s fearless first release after their switch from Victory Records to Wind-Up and has generated enough buzz to land the band a slot in Hot Topic’s Take Action Tour this spring as a co-headliner alongside Silverstein and openers Polar Bear Club, The Swellers, and Texas in July.

The assaulting opening track “Already Gone,” sets the pace for Killing Time and carries fans past any previous expectations of the album into its proud truth. This hybrid track draws its velocity from somewhere between Four Year Strong’s strength and Stephen Christian (of Anberlin) vocals.

“It’s Not A Bad Little War” follows an upbeat path made into an engaging punk anthem that ruminates on the past, mistakes and growing up. The chorus, “Face your failures and hope will see us through,” possibly reveals Bayside’s secret to success.

On most pop-punk albums, tracks about alcoholic girls who break boys’ hearts is the proverbial theme – “The Wrong Way” is Bayside’s adaptation of this concept. The track is filled with dark bass lines and breakdowns as Raneri spins the tale of a girl who “puts on cyanide perfume / then asks for kisses on her neck from every boy in the room.” He warns, “I don’t think you’re on to something good right now.” This track borders on the verge of cliché but is forgivable because of its catchy nature and relatability.

“On Love, On Life” is possibly the most diverse song on the album as the slow ballad sheds the electric guitars for classical harmonies, an orchestra and a horn section. This brooding track provides a nice break from Killing Time‘s forceful nature and shows Bayside’s mature side that takes the record to a whole new level and adds a necessary universal appeal to the album.

The heavy title track “Killing Time” features Raneri taking his last stand on the struggles of fighting for your own happiness. The chorus, “I’m halfway to happy now and I always mistake it for progress,” makes me wonder, with their already progressive tracks, what would their album sound like if the band were fully happy?

Keeping this in mind, fans can only hope that Bayside stays content forever and can continue to compose such great albums. Killing Time is undoubtedly a necessity for alternative music lovers.

Rating: 8.5/10
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Record Label: Wind-Up Records
Recommended Tracks: “Mona Lisa” // “Sick, Sick, Sick” //
For Fans Of: Alkaline Trio, Four Year Strong, Anberlin