For Fans Of
Almost a year ago to the day we reviewed Modern Baseball’s Sports, and from it emerged a feeling the listeners would be pretty keen as to what the underdogs had for us in future. Since that time, the space of has given the band the prize of a whole lot of success and a bit of fame, but thankfully in ‘You’re Gonna Miss It All’, that lazy and sarcastic punk has stayed utterly grounded, and it’s only confidence that oozes through the cracks.
Modern Baseball do the sprawling colloquial song writing so very well, and in ‘Fine, Great’ it’s great to hear that the cynical charm and charismatic smarminess hasn’t up and left on this record. Always a bit peculiar in the lyrical department, the pragmatic vocals of Brendan Lukens sings ‘mixing bitter pills with chocolate pudding’ and manages to rhyme it with something equally arbitrary on the next line. It’s this free hand style of lyrical stream of consciousness that makes records like ‘You’re Gonna Miss It All’ so endearing, and most importantly, so relatable.
The most entertaining quality of this record is the way that the lyrics move swiftly from bluntly judgmental to retrospective and mature in the space of a moment. In ‘Going to Bed Now,’ Lukens sings about an ‘asshole with an iPhone’ before relenting to admitting he’s the same: ‘caught between my adolescent safety net and where the world wants me to be.’
Sounding a bit like a more upbeat Weakerthans, there’s a bit of indie rock being channeled in this track, and also in ‘Broken Cash Machine’ which has a definitive boisterousness and energy that waned across the course of Sports. On tracks like ‘Apartment,’ which is built on shiny acoustic riffs and an eclectic choice of melodies, the vocals are sounding a bit like a pop punk band who have just learned that indie is the new thing. Far from being try-hard however, it’s tracks like ‘Notes’, which sees Modern Baseball blend all of their various influences to flawless effect.
Modern Baseball have put way more oomph into this record than they did in Sports, and this may be due to the influence of producer Wil Yip who seems to be using his magic touch on many an emo or punk record these days. ‘Charlie Black’ is almost an anthem, which is strange for a band that dwells in lazy acoustic verse-chorus territory most of the time. ‘Going To Bed Now’ and ‘Your Graduation’ are delightfully more antagonistic and gritty in the delivery of the verses and in some of the hooks, where there is less of the weary monotony that occasionally dictated past material.
‘You’re Gonna Miss It All’ may be short tempered and at times insolent, but it’s the final track ‘Pothole’ where lyrics like ‘I can be everything you need…I can be easily deceived’ bares the kind of vulnerability that makes this band so loveable. This record is a fairly substantial step ahead of the game for Modern Baseball, who should prepare for some serious attention in 2014.
1. Fine, Great
2. Broken Cash Machine
3. Rock Bottom
5. The Old Gospel Choir
7. Charlie Black
8. Timmy Bowers
9. Going To Bed Now
10. Your Graduation
11. Two Good Things