TDP Review: Modern Baseball ‘You’re Gonna Miss It All’

MODERN BASEBALLAs an avid listener of all things rock, I was pleasantly surprised by the Philadelphia-based band Modern Baseball. Part pop-punk, part indie rock, part emo, Modern Baseball is one of those bands that you fall in love with but you’re not quite sure why – in the best way possible.  Their music seems to grab you and never let you go. The vocals and instrumental work are not groundbreaking, yet their music is catchy as all get out, and that is what makes it stand out. Best described as ‘raw’ with in-your-face lyrics, Modern Baseball’s work is sure to bring out the full range of  teenage emotions. With variations from acoustic jams to indie-punk ballads, Modern Baseball have an undoubted talent.

On their sophomore LP, You’re Gonna Miss It All, which was released this past October by Run for Cover Records, the band delivers. While leaning toward a more emo-influenced sound, the band expresses their folk influences with ample acoustic work on the record, highlighting their musical diversity. In addition to the impressively diverse nature of the album, Modern Baseball have managed to make this effort undeniably relatable with with their lyrical content. The songs express an ‘angsty teen’ vibe, focusing on emotional topics like reminiscence, coping with changes, and relationship struggles. Through use of charged and sometimes profane language, the band’s lyrics authentically express the raw emotions of many young Americans – ranging from passive sadness to aggressive frustration.

The album kicks off with the track, “Fine, Great” – a song that opens with the tone-setting lyrics “I hate worrying about the future… ‘Cause all my. . .problems are based around the past.” The song’s initial melancholy acoustic style, which itself is nostalgic, reflects its lyrical focus on the past . As the mix progresses, the bass pops in, and the layering sounds rise. “Fine, Great”  ends with the expression of a realization that everything is transient – even friendships and other budding relationships. The lyrics capture the anxiety of changing times, abandonment from friends, and the general lousiness that comes with embarking on a journey into the ‘real-world,’ an undeniably relatable topic for high school students.

Perhaps the strongest track on the album is “Your Graduation,”  a song that is up to par with some of the best pop-punk anthems out there. Primarily dominated by lead singer Brendan Lukens, who sings about a life-long crush, “Your Graduation” is another emotional take on relationships. The immediately dynamic track takes an energetic turn for the better as drummer Sean Huber cuts in with his vocals about thirty seconds into the song. With a vocal deliverance that is worthy of an entire separate musical endeavor, Huber’s gritty and powerful barking melodies provide a satisfying sound that parallels the frustration described in the lyrics. During this section led by Huber, one cannot help but to jam out to his drum beats and grooving rhythms with some headbanging or tapping along to the jarring feel of the banging drums. The frenetic pacing and energetic nature of this song alone makes it the gem of this album.

From their nod to hard rock with “Charlie Black,” to their sentimental song “Pothole,” Modern Baseball have created a diverse record that proves to be their best work. The track “Pothole” serves as a great conclusion to the album. I am not an extreme fan of acoustic music, but this track is the strongest in terms of lyrics. “Whether you like that or not”, is what ends this track, and expresses acceptance of oneself. This song shows a sense of maturity which contrasts their other tracks, and ultimately allows for a sense of closure. While the album acts as a reflection on something lost, the song “Pothole” is the first impression of moving on.

With an album as catchy, emotionally relatable, and just plain fun as You’re Gonna Miss It All, they have proven themselves to be valued contributors to the contemporary music scene. Modern Baseball could very well be the best band you’ve never heard of.

Modern Baseball performing an acoustic version of “Pothole”(not indicative of their other tracks):

Credit: Property of Zack

 

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