Modern Baseball – Album Review
“I hate worrying about the future cause all my current problems are based around the past” is the first line off Modern Baseball’s sophomore full length release; which makes perfect sense, as every song off You’re Gonna Miss it All is a first person rant towards some past tense lover.
Front man Brendan Lukens sings with a distinctive voice, one you could pick out in a crowded basement. Nasally and rushed, the lyrics come across as inner thoughts put to music, not always fitting into each measure. But that doesn’t mean that they are not well versed, they are sincere, coming from a real place of remorse.
Most of the songs follow a similar construction, starting with a melodic verse, then erupting into a pop punk break that leads into a catchy chorus, before finally settling into a calm sectioned outro that leaves you feeling as if you have arrived somewhere.
The track “Apartment” starts with a strummed guitar and calm drums. Then counting into a pop punk verse that’s all about a small get together of friends that comes off as painfully boring. It’s seeking interest in a girl, but not even trying. Its teenage, its youth. Walking home and thinking of what to say. And a line you can quote but not sure where it fits into the song.
“She was my trophy shelf of slip-ups, my untamed hormonal Loch Ness shit-show…for months on end.” One of those golden scribbles off the track “Notes” speaks volumes for the album. This was my favorite track for the reason it did not follow the structure many of the other songs did, and the self-loathing lyrics are at least well written.
The album is intriguing, but at times, it’s a bit juvenile. It repeats itself over and over; it’s witty, but lacking direction. The lyrics are high school poem-letters with golden lines scattered about. Such as “sharp as a tack but in the sense I’m not smart but a prick.” The parts are tight, no loose ends. But one can’t help but hear the same riffs multiplied.
Overall, I like Modern Baseball. About as much as I like, well, actual modern baseball. I will watch an inning or four but never the entire game, too much repetition. The album is filled with great lines that I truly loved. The best songs being “Rock Bottom,” “Notes,” “The Old Gospel Choir,” and “Timmy Bowers.” But I don’t believe this album was written for anyone but Brendan. It’s a bleeding heart, perhaps one that hasn’t felt true heartbreak, but it’s self-aware. “Wait a minute, I’ve been living more like a piece of shit without you.” It’s melodic, sincere and well constructed, in the sense of a suburban neighborhood that it seems to have been raised in.
At the end of this album I was tired of hearing about this girl, and the same story of how he wanted her back. How he needed her. It had turned from a universal feeling of loss and longing to the same sad, sappy love song you were sick of because it reminded you of someone. But not just that; after listening to the nasal voice almost whining for twelve songs he became almost as annoying to me as he must be to the girl the entire album is about.
For fans of Motion City Soundtrack and The Front Bottoms, and any high school kid who just got broken up with for the first time.