Best of 2016 Playlist

May 13, 2016

Modern Baseball - "Holy Ghost" Review

Small time band with some big ideas. Make this one of your must listen to albums of the year. It's insightful, introspective, and completely unexpected. Modern Baseball's 3rd album will tug at heart strings, and at the same time, get you bouncing in your seat. "Holy Ghost" is sure to be an instant classic. So don't miss out. 

To buy the album on iTunes, click this (link). 

Modern Baseball's 3rd album is firmly routed in the indie/emo revival we've seen in recent years. It's without a doubt at home with bands like Motion City Soundtrack, Say Anything, The Wonder Years. "Holy Ghost" is essentially split in half. The first 6 songs being penned by lead singer Brendan Lukens, and the remaining 6 written by lead guitarist and backing vocalist Jake Ewald. Lyrical content is comprised of traditional emo themes (emotional wounds, self loathing) as well as more adult oriented concerns. The most prevalent theme being mental illness, which Lukens struggled with around the time the band went into the studio to write and record "Holy Ghost". 

And that's where the band are strongest. In the lyrics. Yes a lot of bands write about the same stuff over and over. But with Modern Baseball, you get a much more personal feeling to it. Like you're alone in a room with Lukens and he's telling you a very melodic story. Which in a way he is. If you don't have tears streaming down your face at some point when listening to this record, well... can't help you there. 

Of course some might not like the distinct split down the middle of the record. The two songwriters' styles are similar enough that it's not like you're getting say All Time Low one second and then Chelsea Grin the next. Ewald and Lukens have constructed songs that play off the other's very well, but maintain their individuality. It's either power ballads, or fast punk influenced songs. And as polarizing as that sounds, it works. 

One constant in the record is the production. This band has never gone for the "shiny" coating similar acts have. They stick with what they started with. That sense these songs would be right at home in some little coffeeshop in New England (though the band's originally from Philadelphia and Maryland). 

The bright, warm tones are one of the best aspects of Modern Baseball. They make everything feel so comforting, even when writing about serious topics like addiction and self-abuse. Like you're being hugged by a pancake (make sense?) A very fast, warm pancake. Seriously, the entire album will go by in the blink of an eye. It's barely 27 minutes long. 

It's short, but oh so sweet. This is one of the most honest and endearing album we've heard in a long time. Modern Baseball won't be making headlines with this album, but it's the sort of diamond in the rough that once you discover, you'll treasure. Staying safely inside the lines of "emo/indie", then crafting some of the best lyrics heard this year, Lukens and Ewald prove they know what they're doing. And have more talent put together than most bands do. 

Recommended Tracks
"Apple Cider, I Don't Mind", "Just Another Face" and "Note to Self"

Rating - 8/10