Bayside’s new album, “Vacancy” (Hopeless), is singer Anthony Raneri’s response to moving from Queens to Nashville for his family, only to get divorced and forced to stay so that he could remain close to his daughter.
Judging from Raneri’s raw, poignant lyrics, it sounds like a rough time. But it also inspired what may be the band’s best album yet. Bayside has written about pain before, most notably in 2007’s “The Walking Wounded,” but they are a much stronger band now, with far more musical tools at their disposal.
“I am the last of my kind,” Raneri sings in the thunderous first single “Enemy Lines,” “just a Yank in Southern battlefields, behind enemy lines.”
Throughout “Vacancy,” Raneri’s lyrical barbs are all on target, but they strike so much harder thanks to Jack O’Shea’s explosive guitar solos and the punishing rhythm section of bassist Nick Ghanbarian and drummer Chris Guglielmo. Tim O’Heir’s great production keeps everything lean and, yes, mean, but Raneri’s rage is tempered with enough vulnerability and bewilderment to make him the underdog.
“I can’t believe this is my life,” sings Raneri in “Pretty Vacant,” but “Vacancy” has Bayside making the most of it.
Bayside plays PlayStation Theater at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $24.50 through AXS.com