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Bayside

Shudder

(Victory; US: 30 Sep 2008; UK: 29 Sep 2008)

On their fourth album, Shudder, Bayside offers up grand anthems of hopelessness that sound like what would happen if you crossbred Weezer with My Chemical Romance. Bayside’s sonic resemblance to Weezer may be attributed to Shudder‘s producer Dave Schiffman, who has worked with that band, as well as Jimmy Eat World. Songs like “No One Understands” and the album’s quirky closer “Moceaneu” demonstrate the group’s subtle shifts in instrumentation that perforate Bayside’s melodic, three-chord pop/punk riffing.


In terms of lyrical content, Shudder runs the cathartic gauntlet. The disc’s opener, “Boy” delivers a heavy dose of the aforementioned soaring hopelessness while “A Call to Arms and “Have Fun Storming the Castle” are harmony-laden, angsty metaphors for adulthood. Other tracks like “I Can’t Go On” and the somber guitar wailer “Demons” are just astoundingly beautiful, standalone pieces. In terms of a genre album, with Shudder, Bayside stands head and shoulders above their more mainstream-acclaimed emo contemporaries. It doesn’t offer much different than the standard formula utilized by bands lumped into a similar category, however, Bayside does it much better with more melody and genuine lyrical pathos packed into each song.

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Lana Cooper has written various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2006. She's also written news stories for EDGE Media, a nationwide network devoted to LGBT news and issues. In 2013, she wrote her first novel, Bad Taste In Men, described as one part chick lit for tomboys and one part Freaks and Geeks for kids who came of age in the mid-'90s. She lives in Philadelphia and enjoys spending time with her family, reading comic books, and avoiding eye contact with strangers on public transportation. A graduate of Temple University, Cooper doesn't usually talk about herself in the first person, but makes an exception when writing an author bio.


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