Staff Rating

4.25/5

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5/5

Modern Baseball - Sports

Connor_McGaha   (38 reviews)

Posted: 03/22/2013 | Comments: 0 | Rate:

Cheer up, boys and girls, Modern Baseball is on. Coming from the musical hotspot of Maryland, these guys play early-2000s Emo-influenced indie punk music that brings to mind bands like Dashboard Confessional, and the almighty Say Anything, with lyrics that tackle similar themes as their forefathers.

Starting from the nasally, Conor Oberst-style intro of "Re-do," and carrying through this short-but-sweet album, this band changes up the tempo, adds and takes away electric guitars, but always lets two things remain: Emotionally-charged vocals and, by far, some of the catchiest riffs of the current Emo-revival.

Almost all of the songs on the album are driven by the same, subtle guitar playing and sarcastic, apologetic lyrics, with one giant exception: the beautiful masterpiece that is "I Think You Were In My Profile Picture Once." Clocking in at only 1:20, this song is by far the most original song on the album, which showcases a downplayed acoustic guitar foundation and the crooning, intertwining male and female vocals that provide an absolutely heartwarming interlude in this energetic, fun album.

My only complaint with this album is one that is merely personal, and one that is nothing major: why listen to this band when I can just listen to the bands that influence them? While they take the best parts of all of their influences, there aren't very many parts of this band that are entirely original. The lead is a breath of fresh air, and the experimentation in tempos and time-changes is fantastic (especially on songs like "Re-done" and "Cooke"), but there's nothing new.

However, on the flip side, I can say that there's nothing REALLY wrong with that. Why dig through Dashboard or Say Anything's discography (a towering discography, at that), when you can listen to all the best parts on this ONE album. There's always a plus side to every negative, and I think that, after really thinking about it, the plus side of this album greatly outweighs the negative.

The one thing I enjoyed more than anything, and this might sound silly, is the choice to curse on this album. Now, my reason for saying this is that (and any person who was a kid in the early 2000s can back me up on this), throughout my entire childhood, I loved how catchy and emotional Dashboard Confessional's early records were, but always thought they sounded "fake" in their avoidance of cursing. As a person who curses a LOT, it's refreshing to hear a band that's just as talented and catchy as Dashboard Confessional saying "I won't FUCKING wait," instead of leaving it out. I believe that this gives the album more credibility and believability.

Overall, throughout all the cliches, the ironic song titles, and the common riffs and devices used by other bands, there's an underlying, differentiating theme: Modern Baseball doesn't give a shit whether or not you like their songs. They're writing the music for themselves and their friends, and if you don't like it, it's your loss. A true, friends-based ethic means more to me than any of the musical aspects that may be "overused" or "cliche."

Touche, Modern Baseball. Touche.


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