Following in Thursday's footsteps, Long Island's Bayside breaks the typecasting of most Victory Records bands by brewing up a palatable batch of aggressive, melodic emo rock that draws on both Jawbox and the Alkaline Trio. Launched with "Masterpiece," which doesn't exactly live up to its title but is really good just the same, frontman Anthony juxtaposes hangovers and heartbreak before the quartet descends into the raw "Poison in My Veins," which also works the lovelorn angle with the finest harmony vocals this side of Midtown. While Bayside's lyrical approach fails to cover any new ground, the group is forceful and adept, whether it's creating a thunderous twin guitar roar on "Alcohol and Altar Boys" or conjuring up poppy, Promise Ring-like numbers like "A Synonym for Acquiesce." While the melodrama gets to be overbearing here and there, it's masked in the bombast of hard, driving tunes like "Kellum." Meanwhile, the quirky somberness of "If You're Bored" might be the most entertaining track of the pack, making Sirens and Condolences a pretty impressive entry.
AllMusic Review by John D. Luerssen