There are a select few records in my collection that I can always count on to produce an unbridled sense of nostalgia. A classic to turn to when in need of some youthful energy, that little rush of euphoria when singing along with a favorite group-chorus, or that story to remind us of when life was much simpler. Emo and pop-punk are genres that heavily rely on this sense of nostalgia. The subject matter is often adolescent with accompanying art composed of old photos, buildings, or group shots filtered through your choice of Instagram effects. Sports is a fresh, new package that encompasses these vintage feelings into fun, upbeat songs that showcase an enamoring sense of honesty.
Modern Baseball are part of a rising emo scene in the New Jersey/Philadelphia area. While there seems to be a growing popularity in twinkly emo, pigeonholing Modern Baseball into any one genre would be difficult with their dynamic songwriting. With a run-time of 30 minutes, the record, at times, feels like a catchy pop-punk album with fast chords, drums and sing-a-long anthems. Choruses like the one on "See Ya Sucker" beg to be sung along to:
"On the corner of Canal and Broadway,
Where that huge sign says 'Love me'
Shrouded in graffiti and the stench of weed"
What differentiates Modern Baseball from similar bands is their ability to write extremely heartfelt and relatable songs with an almost indie-rock twist. Three songs run less than two minutes and are mostly acoustic, telling tales of young love and loss while employing guest female vocals on "I Think You Were In My Profile Picture Once" with resounding success. Social media references pop up sporadically and, while slightly off-putting, add to the genuineness it possesses. Standout track "Cooke" starts with a slow, scaled back drum beat filled with groovy ghost-notes on the snare. The airy, twinkly guitars interplay with the nasally singing of the vocalist to culminate in a perfect contrast to the typical emo buildup. The high-pitched singing of the lead vocalist may be polarizing, but most will find it fitting on such a youthful and endearing record.
Sports tells stories of situations that we've all been in. Its themes include growing up, leaving home, the foresight and ability to change, and of course, tween love. While this may seem like familiar territory, it's their ability to mix such a variety of sounds, influences and emotions that makes this record so special. As a young band with obvious potential for greatness, their most magnetic quality is that they simply seem to have fun. They write about the things they know and they jam the tunes they want to play without any attention to genre standards. The end product is cathartic, relatable, and insanely catchy.
8.2 / 10
Posted Aug. 6, 2015, 4:17 p.m.
Funeral Sounds record label has released a compilation to raise funds for Casa Ruby, an LGBTQ+ organization and safe space in Washington, D.C. Available at a pay-what-you-will cost, the ...
Posted Jan. 5, 2015, 10:39 p.m.
Lame-O Records has announced a 6-way split titled Strength in Weakness. The split features Modern Baseball, Spraynard, Beach Slang, Marietta, Hurry, and The Weaks, and is a benefit for United ...
Posted May 14, 2014, 7:43 p.m.
Modern Baseball, who recently released You're Gonna Miss It All, will hit the road joined by The Hotelier, Tiny Moving Parts, and Sorority this June 1. Dates are listed ...
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