Bands often endure tragedies. An accident, drug OD or breakdown has marred many groups run. Usually, when these incidents occur, an established band has enough behind it to overcome the set back. But for relatively new or unknown groups the recovery can be far more difficult.
Bayside, formed in '00 around vocalist/guitarist Anthony Raneri and bassist Andrew Elderbaum, who has since left the group, had recorded a couple EPs and two full-length albums ('04's "Sirens And Condolences" and '05's "Bayside").
While on tour in '05 their van hit a patch of ice on the way to Salt Lake City show. It flipped taking the life of drummer John "Beatz" Holohan and seriously injuring bassist Nick Ghanbarian. The October 31st accident meant the end of the tour, though Raneri and guitarist Jack O'Shea picked up many of the remaining dates playing acoustic sets. '06's "Acoustic" was the result.
With Ghanbarian recovered and a new drummer, Chris Guglielmo, Bayside spent much of '06 back on the road but made time to record their aptly titled '07 release "The Walking Wounded" which was produced by the team of Shep Goodman and Ken Gioia, who were also at the controls for Bayside's '05 album.
2004 Sirens And Condolences
2007 The Walking Wounded
2011 Killing Time
"Sirens And Condolences" sounds like a lot of power-pop Punk. But Bayside are pretty good at it. They provide powerful with hook filled tracks that command attention. "Bayside" is their attempt to break from the pack. They're a bit too thoughtful when they should be driving through songs.
"Acoustic" is just that. Guitars and voice. Playing songs from the Bayside repertoire. However, Raneri doesn't let any of the angst or pain subside. Many of the tracks retain a significant portion of their original's edge and power.
Some bands fail to recover from adversity. Others rise to the challenge. Bayside does the latter on the appropriately titled, "The Walking Wounded." While it might be tempting to wallow in the mire, the group comes out of the gate confident and forceful. The title track has a compelling tight riff powering it. The rousing "Head On A Plate" and the melodic power-pop "Dear Your Holiness" and "Landing Feet First" resonate. Bayside's Emo tendencies show through on "Choice Hops And Bottled Self Esteem" where there's the line, "The stench of this place is almost as bad as the memory." It's actually pretty descriptive. "The Walking Wounded" picks up where "Sirens" left off. It wasn't that "Bayside" was a misstep, it's just that the group has done so much better.