New York punk-rock stalwarts Bayside have uncorked their seventh record, releasing through Hopeless Records. Vacancy is an accumulation of power songs and valuable stories, executed with intensity and robust attention. The record weaves carefully throughout different emotions, musicality strengths and an overall instrumental clarity. There are memorable strong points that hold their own respective songwriting weight, however, the album does little in steering away from the band’s go to formula when it comes to sticking with a distinct and go-to sound.
The album commences with a thrusting might inside Two Faces, an in-your-face raw lead guitar rumbles as Anthony Raneri’s vocals take the reigns. I’ve Been Dead All Day is a punk rock ballad with a gentle presence within the songwriting, with the end result sounding decent yet a little forced and generic. Frisky military drums crash against the deep lead and rhythm guitar growls in Enemy Lines. Raneri’s lead vocal cries melt together well with the backing support as they transmit a familiar ground and an easy, softened encouragement. The album doesn’t go too far away from a safe structure reference point heard within the overall energy. Rumspringa (Heartbreak Road) clings to a Slash reminiscent guitar solo, otherwise not doing much else in the regard of shifting away from a regular Bayside signature style. Mary is perhaps the album’s most distinctive and memorable moment. The chords and vocals are crispy and charismatically delicate. Tight drums encapsulate the overall natural feeling within the song. The vocal hook doesn’t seem forced and flows freely over the fluidity of the guitar and bass playing processes. Maybe, Tennesse exhibits a tremendous instrumentation accuracy and genuine musicality, spilling some of this likeable presence into the record’s next track, The Ghost – a mid-noughties nostalgic trip down a rumbling and rough memory lane. The record’s final blow comes in the form of It’s Not As Depressing As It Sounds. Tamely formed, it’s a rock ballad with melodious endeavours. The song ties a decent album together, maintaining a certain Bayside signature character, doing it’s best in leaving a pleasant taste behind.
Bayside’s Vacancy is a twisting vine of charming hidden beauty, exhibiting just enough innovation to steer them away from sounding a little too verbose and frequent. The outfit of four from New York continues to manifest an influential amount of momentum, dedication and musical hunger that slings them into a category of admirable durability. If seeking a catchy, melody-driven collection of growled punk rock music richness, then Vacancy will cater to your modern demands. It’s not a record of superficial glorification or innovative perplexities, alternately, Vacancy marks its own territory inside personal belief and central musical value.