Coming quickly on the heels of 2004's Sirens and Condolences, the men of Long Island's Bayside continue to find themselves pegged as an emo band, but the Anthony Raneri-steered group has a less limiting grasp on indie rock. While the explosive hard-charging opener "Hello Shitty" is a ferocious exclamation mark, the song is an anomaly amid the white noise acoustic rock of "Don't Call Me Peanut" and the optimistic tack of "Tortures of the Damned." Bayside's enthusiastic drive propels "Half a Life," which is one of several exhibitions for the wares of guitarist Jack O'Shea. If the complexities of relationships seem like trite song fodder these days, "Existing in a Crisis" proves that it can still be done with effect, but Raneri and his compadres still come up short on "Montauk," an experimental tune inspired by the erratic film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Just the same, they deserve credit for trying to reach beyond their comfort zone.
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AllMusic Review by John D. Luerssen