Bayside have dropped quite a figurative bomb on the music industry with their most recent single, “Dancing Like An Idiot.” The song comes from their upcoming vinyl re-issue of their last album, 2014’s Cult, titled Cult White Edition, and it is one of the four self-described rare/unreleased tracks.
In a nutshell, “Dancing Like An Idiot” targets the culture of Warped Tour in all its glory (despite the fact Bayside have regularly graced the lineup of the traveling punk rock festival). The track exclusively premiered via lyric video on Billboard with an accompanying interview with frontman Anthony Raneri who had no qualms explaining its contents. Raneri pointed out that his band’s fans are not bringing the trends to the forefront, but rather in order to see “different fashion styles, different statements,” you have to be at Warped Tour. “Some if it’s rad,” Raneri said. “Some of it’s bullshit, and the bullshit rises to the top sometimes.”
He elaborates on that “bullshit,” saying bands who produce merchandise with unrelated or unnecessary profanity are staging a “mall rebellion” with the intent to piss off parents, and “there’s nothing cool about that.” Despite all the talk, Raneri and the rest of Bayside chose to not directly call out any artists or bands via the video, lyrics or even interview with Billboard. Instead, for the video, they used the targeted bands’ fonts to write the lyrics over clips from movies that focus on the stupidity of the world including Idiocracy, Wizards and The Three Stooges.
While the bands Raneri is referring to may be safe from direct criticism, pop icons One Direction certainly were not. The first verse compares one or more of the artists in question to them by saying “How can’t you be embarrassed while you do the things you do / you’re basically One Direction if they all had throat tattoos.”
While Bayside’s lyrical content has often leaned toward the angst-filled and straightforward side, they usually stuck to the topic of relationships or hardships and not on the status of the music industry. However, given their previous work, it’s no surprise “Dancing Like An Idiot” didn’t hold back by any means.
The biggest underlying message portrayed is that despite the current unwanted popularity of certain artists, acts like Bayside will prevail. The second verse hones in on this, saying, “Well I assure you, Mr. Listener, it really is that bad / These aren’t harmless criminals, this isn’t just a fad / Cause kid, there’s consequences to what we say and what we do / While you’re dancing like an idiot, they’re looking up to you” implying it’s the way the industry is heading for quite sometime and there’s no one to blame but the artist themselves. Then, the final verse drives it home with “Take it from me, your rebel with a cause, we’ll be here when you get old / Can’t you see the future slowly getting neutered? / How can people call this art?”
All in all, the musical content of the track is pretty uniform with what to expect from Bayside: catchy punk. The in-your-face lyrical content is an added bonus that will hopefully turn outsiders on to this band who has been in the scene for 15 years.
Bayside will embark on a tour of Australia later this month for Soundwave and club shows with New Found Glory and The Wonder Years followed by their U.S. Fifteen Year Birthday Tour in March with support from Senses Fail, Man Overboard and Seaway. Cult White Edition is a reissue double LP including “Dancing Like An Idiot,” “Indiana,” “Call Me” and “Transitive Property (Park Slope Version)” as rare/unreleased tracks. It is available for pre-order now and will be released on March 3rd via Hopeless Records.