With a 220,000 strong fan base, you can release just about anything you like and someone’s going to love it. If you’re new to Bayside, Cult is a great album to come in on. 14 years into their career, the New York rock group have managed to dabble in almost every rock genre to come from the US. Today their sound is a nostalgic halfway between New Found Glory and My Chemical Romance.

Cult, Bayside’s sixth studio album, has almost flawless continuity; the album flows smoothly from track to track, cover to cover. With the exception of the first track ‘Big Cheese’, which features some horribly screechy vocals, the album is strong as f*ck. Bayside have managed to write one of those albums that feel familiar and natural to listen to. There’s no awkward small talk, you don’t need to get acquainted. Cult is your friend straight away.

You’re going to be tapping your foot within ten seconds of the intro of the first song kicking in. Bayside here take 11 tracks to walk you through what it’s like when adolescence meets maturity. Sometimes that means that the album is sincere and thoughtful, and at others it’s just childish fun. It’s definitely going to speak to a lot of people on a lot of different levels.

Somewhere around the middle this album slips into a coma of groggy lifelessness. Given how much impact the first half had, the latter is dismally boring. Pure album tracks. They close even stronger than they start, the final song on the album ‘The Whitest Lie’ is at least as comfortable as the first half of the album. Bayside rescued the album with that last track.

Cult is brought to life by tracks like ‘Time Has Come’ and them brought back down to earth by a couple like ‘Something’s Wrong’. Cult is definitely a good time for you to get into Bayside, whilst also being one for the fans. If only it didn’t lose it’s flavour by the middle.

Callum Cornwell

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