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ATP! Album Review: Bayside - Covers - Vol. 1 EP

New York natives, Bayside, have recently joined the list of self-releasing musicians that have made waves on the scene today. The band’s debut release on their own label, Gumshoe Records, is a collection of cover songs that is suitably titled, "Covers - Vol. 1", which not-so-subtlely implies that there will be one or two or (hopefully) five more sequels to this record in the future. Hopefully nobody assumed that Bayside were going to have overplayed radio tunes on this release; "Covers - Vol. 1" is absolutely nothing like what you may have seen done in the past. Bayside carefully chose classic rock and pop jams that perfectly compliment their own unique and renowned sound, while simultaneously putting their signature flair on each of the five tracks without butchering the original beats.

The EP opens with a cover of the 1963 classic, 'Be My Baby', by the Ronettes. The opener maintains the original song’s enthusiasm while also putting more emphasis on the guitar work and harmonies by adding a key change at the end (nice touch, guys). Next up is a cover of 'Oliver’s Army', originally by Elvis Costello and the Attractions, where the band picks up the tempo by just a hair and adds a hint of a summer jam feel to it. The band delves into the more pop punk/dark side of things with their interpretation of Del Shannon’s 'Runaway', giving the impression that the tune was not originally an upbeat, danceable, lovesick-lamenting one. Bayside’s cover of 'Wild Night', originally by Van Morrison, could easily be mistaken for a band original if ever played live; the band certainly hit the high note on the scale with this one. To close the EP, the band chose to play their rendition of fellow Long Island/Queens native Billy Joel’s epic hit, 'Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)'. It may be the similar origins or vocal styles (call it what you will), but this particular cover really shows off and compliments singer Anthony Raneri’s voice quite magnificently. To top it off, the band adds an angelic, church choir-inspired harmonic, “Aah’s” to bring the album to a close.

In an honest effort to give fans their own version of songs they grew up on, Bayside truly outdid themselves. Not only did they produce decent covers of very well-known and well-adored classics, but they reinterpreted them in a way that makes it impossible for listeners to not go online and search videos of the originals. It is a very genius method of getting people to listen to music of later years, so that they are not trapped in the monotony and repetitiveness of some music today. And the fact that the covers are actually done well makes this method even more effective.


Melissa Jones

"Covers - Vol. 1" is out now through Gumshoe Records.

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