Well it’s pretty obvious the guys that make up Samuel Powers have a soft spot for “Saved By The Bell.” And I don’t blame them at all; the show was iconic and still holds a special place to us 20 – 30 some things For those not familiar, where were you in the 90’s? We have the band name thanks to the show’s lovable nerd and the album title The Bayside Tigers is simply the high school mascot. There’s few things in the music that really call to mind the breezy lightweight drama of Saved By The Bell besides the core concept that didn’t hit me until the point of a reference regarding a guy being an item with Jessie. The problem is so is his best friend. This can’t end well. The album’s character definitely hits a west coast punk ideal with touches of emo, but it’s all fun and games even when the games are what we did in our “glory days.”
In the vein of punk, all five songs are nice and compact, but not too fast like some ADD artists. From a sound perspective it comes very close to polished production, but there’s some minor tweaking needed in the master, definitely in the instrument settings. The guitar is a little too tinny for my taste and the cymbals are washing like they’re in the corner of the room. There’s something comfortable about less than polished when it comes to this type of music, but I’m a firm believer in succulent sound with no excuses. Right from the start, you can feel the snarky and self-conscious side of this band coming through, if the album art wasn’t enough. Young kids looking to call attention, be ironic, rock your face off and maybe even be your boyfriend when they’re done. We’ll see.
“Oink Oink, Baby” is a clever little twist on “Ice Ice, Baby” and I think it works pretty nicely. There are some solid and interesting drum choices along with well-paced guitar rhythms and surprisingly powerful vocals. A good first impression.
“Killing Time Between Weekends” leaves a little to be desired, but it delivers on a killer bass line intro. The rest of The Bayside Tigers gets a little lost in the same field of sound – it’s hard to keep focus when track to track doesn’t leave clear lines. This album is following footsteps rather than pioneering, but for those who are looking for that early 2000’s sound, give this a shot. You just might get flooded with sweet nostalgia. And isn’t that the point?
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