Bayside are back and this time it’s a big one. ’Vacancy’ is a pleasing compilation of delightfully complex tracks that bleeds emotion and features the odd solid guitar solo.
Opening track ’Two Letters’ is packed with intricate riffs and laments a difficulty to let go of the past. Lyrically, this track shines bright as hell: “I’m not so good with tenses / I’m tensing up thinking about what I’m supposed to call you now.” ’I’ve Been Dead All Day’ is a super fun one for its tight vocals that border on theatrical, and ’Pretty Vacant’ too for the maze-like riffs intertwined with the strong – and not to mention extremely catchy – vocals.
’Enemy Lines’ is a faster, meaner track that evokes a bold sense of self-righteousness. It does this both lyrically, using military related metaphors – “I am the last of my kind / just a yank in southern battlefields [..] But a good soldier marches on /
knowing the worst may be still yet to come” – and musically in the rigid, solid guitar parts.’Not Fair’ and ’Rumspringa (Heartbreak Road)’ both feature solid harmonies but the latter wins with the staggered, varied musical parts and the insane solo around two thirds in. ’Mary’ is another solid track featuring a quick solo and is otherwise more chilled, drawing focus to the narrative lyricism.
’The Ghost’ is a great track for a summer road trip thanks to its progressive feel and refreshing vocals. Final track ’It’s Not As Depressing As it Sounds’ has deeply interesting lyrics, beginning with a way slower, calmer tone, then building up to round off the album perfectly.
‘Vacancy’ is a well-executed set of tracks that are each easily approachable, for both die-hard fans as well as those who are new to Bayside.
’Vacancy’ by Bayside is released on 19th August on Hopeless Records.
Words by Lucy Jones (@loo_say9)