Modern Baseball

You're Gonna Miss It All

Written by: TL on 11/02/2014 19:21:51

In case this is the first you ever read about Modern Baseball, worry not, for all you need to know to get started is that they sound very close to The Front Bottoms or The Weakerthans. In case you haven't heard those (get right on that like, soon-ish) then you could also imagine a more underground and less glossy Motion City Soundtrack or Say Anything, with more carefree song structures and more half-talked, dodgy singing and with a distinct kinship with the midwest emo movement, without sounding like a carbon copy of the bands you would normally associate with that.

Of course, by virtue of the band's promising 2012 debut "Sports" you may already know them well, and you might also have been looking forward to the sophomore "You're Gonna Miss It All", which is out today and on which the young east coast quartet extends its streak of quirky, charming, dork-rock tunes with twelve short but sweet new offerings. Since last time, the band has come up with some noticeably better guitar parts, for instance in the climax to "The Old Gospel Choir" and behind the latter half of "Going To Bed Now", yet the dudes still rely mainly on the relateability of the clearly sung lyrics to make up for the limited melodiousness of the nasal vocals and the lack of repetition in the songwriting.

Those lyrics stand out for sounding extremely "right here, right now, right in the singer's brain", like they are just half-annoyed and half-sentimental, real time mumbling about day-to-day issues in the young lives of vocalists Brendan Lukens and Jacob Ewald, and while references to instagram and iphones run the risk of becoming irrelevant in years to come more often than not there's going to be at least a phrase or two pr. song that serves as a hook in lieu of a conventional chorus. At the record's opening "Fine, Great" indulges itself by complaining about an inconsiderate friend, followed by the up-beat "Broken Cash Machine" that finds the narrator home alone, pining over an ex and wishing something would distract him. "Rock Bottom" develops oddly from frustration with someone, over an engaging instrumental progression that backdrops a change to wanting to just stay in doing nothing because "Whatever, forever" - an instant hook that could perhaps become a cult slacker catch phrase.

"Apartment" walks home at night, thinking about asking a girl to hang out the next day and later on a song like "Two Good Things" has a fun vocal take on a typically emo scaling melody, while "Pothole" closes on a very tender, acoustic note. On the trip to here, it's only really "Notes", "Charlie Black" and "Timmy Bowers" that have presented a decisive lull across the album's mid-section, and things are fortunately picked up as "Going To Bed Now" vents in riddles over unidentified targets on top of a comical beat, only to strike an urgent semi-acoustic-punk chord up in its B parts and underscore it with the earlier mentioned, vibrant, electric guitar towards the end.

The energy in "Going To Bed Now" and the following "Your Graduation" - which also features some more raw backing vocals - are among the most promising moments on an album that otherwise only develops Modern Baseball's style with slight nuances. On these you almost get a similar vibe to some of the early Say Anything or The Wonder Years records, giving you half a feeling like Modern Baseball could have a step up ahead of them similarly to the one those bands took on "Say Anything" or "Suburbia, I've Given You All And Now I'm Nothing", but so far they still strike gold a little bit too inconsistently, a bit like the former of the two did on "Is A Real Boy" for instance. For now though, "You're Gonna Miss It All" is an album that fortifies Modern Baseball as a young and promising band in the underground, it'll just be interesting to see if they choose to remain on that level or if maturity will push their songwriting to even better places on albums to come.

Download: Fine, Great; Going To Bed Now; The Old Gospel Choir; Your Graduation
For The Fans Of: The Front Bottoms, The Weakerthans, Say Anything, Motion City Soundtrack, Everyone Everywhere

Release Date 11.02.2014
Run For Cover Records / Lame-O Records

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