When I received notification that Bayside had released a new record, I scrambled the internet and my email for any missed promotional emails. How the hell could I have no idea that it was coming out? Some digging around and I found that the band announced the new record a mere two weeks before its release date of October 4th. While I’ve been a regular listener since The Walking Wounded days, Bayside have consistently released quality rock records every couple of years and most recently with Vacancy in 2016. While that record was well received, I felt it suffered from a lack of energy and as a result I haven’t revisited it much since.
Album opener and title track “Interrobang” bursts out of the gate with an anthemic heavy guitar riff that leads into a groovy verse with thundering tom hits and palm muted guitars. The chorus is catchy as shit and the bridge is almost a pop punk Master Of Puppets section, with moody clean guitars leading into a dueling guitar harmony.
The formula that Bayside built its foundation on with their earlier discography is back in full force on Interrobang, which I find to be a sonically familiar sequel to The Walking Wounded. As an audio engineering nerd, I guess what I’m trying to convey is that these tracks are equally heavy as they are catchy. The rhythm section of drummer Chris Guglielmo and bassist Nick Ghanbarian are super tight but definitely take a back seat to the guitars this time around.
Frontman Anthony Raneiri’s vocals are a consistent highlight, and they shine even brighter on top of the twin guitar attack of Raneiri and Jack O’Shea. ”Prayers” starts off with a heavy down tuned riff that will definitely get a pit going at live shows while ”Bury Me” features a legit breakdown that leads into a metallic solo from O’Shea. I’ve always found O’Shea to be Bayside’s secret weapon due to his fantastic backing vocal harmonies and awesome shredding solos, and those attributes are on full display across this record. Album closer ”White Flag” is a ripping track with thrashy intro riff and a memorable chorus complete with a chug heavy riff emphasizing the hook.
Overall, this is a fantastically heavy and catchy record that is very much worth checking out for old and new fans alike. The energy that I felt had been lost on the previous record has returned tenfold, and I am looking forward to seeing some of these tracks done live. Interrobang is available NOW via Hopeless Records.