Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bayside - Acoustic

This one's for Laura. I don't know how it played out, but for some reason, the first Bayside song I'd ever listened to was "Megan," which for you music lovers out there, is a Smoking Popes song. So, with one song, I got hooked to two bands. The rest of this album is a mix of covers, acoustic versions of pre-existing tracks, and "Winter" which is an original tribute to John Holohan, their drummer, who tragically died in a car wreck back in 2005. I actually remember reading about it on Punknews.org when it happened, before I got into the band. Anthony Raneri's familiar voice croons through the tracks, expertly weaving in and out of the acoustic guitars. Acoustic albums can make or break bands, as the depth of songwriting becomes transparent without the effects: chord changes and riffs cannot be hidden behind a wall of distortion...it's bare and plainly audible for the listener. All-in-all, it's slow and melancholy, an acoustic-punk dirge if you will...but still a brilliant listen. Especially Josh Caterer's guest vocals on "Megan."

1. Winter
2. Blame It on Bad Luck
3. They Looked Like Strong Hands
4. Masterpiece
5. Megan
6. Montauk
7. Devotion and Desire
8. Baby Britain
9. Paternal Reversal
10. Don't Call Me Peanut (Live)