Words About Music
Modern Baseball “You’re Gonna Miss It All”
In contemporary music, indie doesn’t really mean indie anymore. The average “indie rock” band is pulling millions of dollars and playing to huge audiences nowadays. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m just kind of explaining that indie rock today, as the term indie dictates, is actually more in sync with the new wave of emo, pop punk, post-hardcore, screamo, etc. If you’ve browsed my website before then you’ve read about my thoughts on this movement many a time. If you’re new I suggest you read my reviews of the recent Crywank, You Blew It!, and Foxing albums. That should clear things up.
Anyway, Modern Baseball happens to fall under this new indie category, fusing pop punk melodies with emo lyrics. While the very term “pop punk” used to be the kind of thing that would make me cringe immediately, it sounds much more genuine when done in this setting by a band that cares very much about the music they’re making. Their 2012 debut “Sports” [insert American Psycho monologue here]. In all seriousness, “Sports” is a great record with some of the most memorable and entertaining songs I’ve ever heard from a modern emo band. The band has a way of sounding happy even though their lyrics are basically the opposite. Their sound reminds me of a less angsty Joyce Manor mixed with a less complex American Football. While they change up very little of their sound for their sophomore LP “You’re Gonna Miss It All,” the lyricism remains sharp and the choruses remain catchier than herpes.
This album hooked me right away and rarely let go. The 1-2-3 punch of “Sports” was recreated with the first three tracks on this album “Fine, Great,” “Broken Cash Machine,” and “Rock Bottom.” These three songs exemplify the band’s capacity for pop hooks better than nearly every song they’ve ever written. And again, this catchiness almost gives the songs the appearance of actually being happy when they’re definitely not. The album deals mostly with the emo tropes of breakups, loneliness, and depression, but it also gives me hope even if that hope is not explicitly stated in the songs. For some reason, Modern Baseball makes me think that things will all turn out okay no matter what. This album is cathartic on both ends of the emotional spectrum which is maybe why Modern Baseball keeps my attention in ways that plenty of similar bands don’t.
As I mentioned, the lyrics are probably the most important part of this album. It’s always been that way for this band as the instrumentation is not anything too special. As far as lyrics go, whoever’s in charge of writing them for this band is able to keep dry self-deprecating humor alive in the midst of solemn depression in a way that I can’t go without praising. As much as I love and respect the new wave of emo, few bands are able to hold my attention like Modern Baseball have been able to and I think the lyrics are mostly to blame for that.
For the most part, “You’re Gonna Miss It All” is one of the sharpest new emo records I’ve heard in a while and it’s likely to stay in constant rotation. It’s not super original in terms of topic and it’s pretty simple instrumentally, but every aspect of it seems to work for me. I may not love every song with equal enthusiasm, but I can say I have a hard time finding anything negative to say about the band when they make music this likable and relatable. Best enjoyed with a slice of pizza and nasty beer.
SCORE – 8.2
FAVORITE TRACKS – Fine, Great, Broken Cash Machine, Rock Bottom, The Old Gospel Choir, Notes, Charlie Black, Going to Bed Now, Your Graduation, Two Good Things