Bayside

Bayside

Bayside

The Walking Wounded

Victory

Either emo is evolving or I’m growing soft. The mall-punk bands that have sealed the wound that the breakup of the boy bands left bleeding years ago are growing up and beginning to make music that has a bit more identity. The cookie cutters are being broken, and a select few of these bands that make 14-year-old boys and girls wet themselves are starting to sound, well, not bad.

Which brings me to the fourth disc by Long Island’s Bayside. The band has side-stepped fame again and again, watching their tour mates (like Hawthorne Heights) soar into the stars while they remain openers on bills packed with 5 or 6 bands. Most people, myself included, first heard of them through tragedy when a van accident took the life of their drummer John “Beatz” Holohan last year. Who knew that they’d been an active band since 2000?

The Walking Wounded was written in the wake of the band’s trying year, and what emerged is strong, guitar-driven rock songs that sound closer to Foo Fighters and Alkaline Trio than to the bands they’ve been on the road with (Anberlin, Fall Out Boy and the aforementioned HH).

The song that can make the most avid emo hater think again is “I and I.”

Bayside: www.baysiderocks.com

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