Review: Bayside — Acoustic Volume 2

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, October 4th, 2018 at 9:12 AM
Review: Bayside — Acoustic Volume 2 by Madi Gross

★★★★★

As a wee lad, or better known as a freshman, I was invited on a spontaneous car ride to Cleveland’s House of Blues for a concert by former Spectator staff members Dakota Palmer and Kimberly Firestine. I got in the car, unaware that that exact night my life would change, or at least my musical tastes would expand a little further. The Say Anything, Bayside, and Reggie and the Full Effect concert was nothing like I had ever experienced before. I got to enjoy a new environment, three new artists and also meet some of the members of the bands afterwards. So naturally, when I found out that Bayside was releasing “Acoustic Volume 2,” my heart grew very happy.

The album is— you guessed it— an album of covers of their own songs but recorded acoustically. It begins with “Sick, Sick, Sick,” which was an interesting choice to cover acoustically. The song originally is very fast paced and it leaves space for crowd members to shout “SICK SICK SICK” in the midst of it. As an acoustic version, you can hear all of the guitar riffs and every word sung clearly, it actually really cool to hear it like that.

“Blame It On Bad Luck” and “Pigsty” are other songs that in their original form is makes you want to scream the lyrics along with the band. In their acoustic form, the songs feature the instrumentals very clearly while still giving you the urge to scream along the lyrics.

“Mary,”  originally from the band’s album “Vacancy” - is originally a slower-tempoed song. If you play both versions side by side, there isn’t much difference to them other than in the acoustic version you can hear more layered instrumentation. This is also exhibited in “Duality” a little later in the album and on “I Think I’ll Be Okay,” but the original version’s electric guitar sounds very different with an acoustic guitar.

A song featured on the album that is newer is “It Don’t Exist,” which fits very nicely, as it was written for this album. The emotional track dropped in August of 2018 and features a softer sound from Bayside. “Landing Feet First” is another song that is incredibly close to the original version. In “Acoustic Volume 2” there sounds to be stings added to the song’s mix, but the emotion of the song and its lyrics remain.

Bayside commonly has unique bass lines that sometimes aren’t clear in the mixing, but when an acoustic album such as this is written, the bass line becomes more clear. "Howard” is a song with an on point bassline thanks to the acoustic instrumentation. This is exhibited in many of the songs with several different instruments such as the acoustic guitar, the tambourine, the keyboard and so on. 

“I Can’t Go On” in its acoustic version, is a song that highlights the lyrics with just a guitar in the background for most of the song until the other instruments are added in about a minute into the five minute song, and even more just after the three minute mark of the song.

The album closes with “Devotion and Desire” another song that makes you want to scream along with the band. This acoustic version is very high-tempoed, much like the original, but the acoustic guitar featured in the song gives it a different “flavor” of sound. 

Overall, this album was a musical experience in itself. Sometimes hearing a song in a different form makes us listen to it in a whole new way, that’s what happens in “Acoustic Volume 2.”

Madi Gross can be reached at ae.spectator@gmail.com.

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