Shudder Review

artist: Bayside date: 09/30/2008 category: compact discs
Bayside: Shudder
Released: Sep 30, 2008
Genre: Alternative
Label: Victory Records
Number Of Tracks: 13
Anthony Raneri described the album as having a more punk sound than their previous record "The Walking Wounded".
 Sound: 9
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 10
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overall: 9
Shudder Reviewed by: Alexishxc1337, on september 30, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: They say 'nothing in life is certain except death and taxes', but in reality it should be 'nothing in life is certain except death, taxes, and the fact that Bayside will always put out incredible albums.' Shudder is Bayside's 4th full length album, after 2007's The Walking Wounded, which was littered with fantastic songs, but unfortunately had a few hit-or-miss tracks like Head On A Plate and (Pop)Ular SciencE. Taking the hard hitting, aggressive guitars with a still pop-sensibility mindset found on their debut Sirens And Condolences, and the fantastic lead guitar and vocal work of The Walking Wounded, Bayside puts out yet another quality album that is light years ahead of it's predecessors. Rarely does an album come out that is listenable from start to finish with no let's-skip-this-one tracks, and Shudder is exactly that. Jack O'Shea is one of modern music's most underrated and overlooked guitarists. His solos in A Call To Arms, Have Fun Storming The Castle, and Roshambo allow Jack to establish himself as one of the elite guitarists of this generation. Rhythm guitarist/vocalist/lyricist Anthony Raneri continues to tear himself apart, pointing out every flaw, blemish, or issue with his life through his lyrics, and his voice is as strong as ever. From the opening track, Boy, to the fantastic acoustic tune Moceanu, Shudder lives up to it's hype as one of my most anticipated albums of 2008. If there's one album to pick up before the year fades away, make sure it's Shudder. // 9

Lyrics: Anthony Raneri is a lyricist who is blunt, honest, and honorable. His lyrics are never cryptic and need no deciphering, which usually makes them more relatable and paint a vivid image of anyone who has lived a life, troubled or not. In Demons, he provides some minor social commentary about bad trends in the music scene; You read magazines and watch MTV, you practiced it and everything. Oh, you're dressed to impress, but you look like a drag queen. Everyone will eventually have rough spots in life, and he knows this, as heard in The Ghost Of St. Valentine. This song contains the catchiest chorus melody on the album, and WILL cause a random outburst of singing at least once a day, guaranteed. He sings: I'd rather face the gallows, cause nothing matters, and I'll just change my name. There is no love, just appetite, and it's consequences keep you up at night. Well, appetite is lust at best, and it's up to us to figure out the rest. Throughout, he belts out sing-along one-or-two-liners in bridges, like I am a slave to this, I am a masochist from the aforementioned The Ghost Of St. Valentine, and Go on, give up, you'll never win. from the album opener, Boy. All 12 tracks have redeeming lyrics and infectious choruses that will stick in your head whether you want them to or not, all while avoiding being the all-too dreaded pop music. Raneri's unique voice carries all of these lyrics extremely well, and Shudder is undoubtedly his best album, vocally. // 8

Overall Impression: As I mentioned earlier, Shudder is listenable all the way through, no skips needed. Each track is unique, but stays a Bayside song every time. Jack O'Shea's guitar playing has grown, and each consecutive album has faster, more complex solos that outshines the previous. His leads in the choruses are exceptional as well, and what is a basic lead riff to Jack, may seem like a solo to another guitarist in any other band. The combination of Anthony's voice/lyrics, Jack's lead guitar work, Nick Ghanbarian's smooth bass lines, and Chris Guglielmo's (who took over for the tragically deceased John Beatz Holohan) pounding drums make Shudder a near perfect album. As Raneri mentioned in an interview, Shudder is Bayside's most aggressive, 'punk-ish' album to date. Each song is up tempo, and even the lengthy, seemingly slow I Can't Go On remains exciting for it's full 5 minutes. However, one of the highlights of the album is the closing acoustic track, Moceanu, which is an incredibly clever, short but sweet tune. Anthony chooses to spell out a few words as he sings them, I.e. Mr. c-o-o-l at all the shows, you're a-t-t-i-t-u-d-e is old., and each line or two culminates with That's r-e-a-l-i-t-y. The way each spelling rhythmically flows into the next word and rhymes as well, is astounding, and shows serious talent from Anthony. An album like Shudder is rare, but at the rate they're going, Bayside will continue to outdo themselves with each album they put out. // 10

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