Back in February, up and coming Philadelphia pop-punk band Modern Baseball released their second full length album, You're Gonna Miss It All. Listen to it above via Spotify.
Modern Baseball dual lead vocalists and songwriters Brendan Lukens and Jake Ewald are still in college, and this album portrays the confusing, awkward, and wild post-high school years from an extremely relatable perspective. Lukens and Ewald introduce themselves and their personalities in just the first lines of their respective first tracks. "I hate worrying about the future / cause all my current problems are based around the past / and I hate when you call me late at night just to check in to make sure I've got nothing to be sad about." In all of his songs Lukens uses an outer bravado to mask his insecurities and self pity.
Lukens' songs show a balance between nervousness and confidence, and he does a great job of showcasing cause and effect in his lyrics. The most prominent example comes in the songs "Charlie Black" and "Tommy Bowers." While the former is a fast paced, celebration of a song, where his self-pity dissolves into confidence with the line "wait a minute, because I've been living more like a fucking king without you." However, "Tommy Bowers," a slower more contemplative song, opens with the nearly identical, but much more self-deprecating "wait a minute cause I've been living more like a piece of shit without you." It's a very smart demonstration of Lukens' two sides, and it's a great illustration of his personality on this record.
Ewald's songs stand out most on this album just for their sheer honesty and openness with everything that he deals with. His lyrics hit with cynicism, sarcasm, and bitterness, but they are also extremely clever. "Home alone on friday night, no better time to exercise" he laments on his first track, "Broken Cash Machine."
On "Apartment," Ewald perfectly captures the anxiety that occurs when trying to go up and talk to someone you like for the first time. Even in the song he rushes through the line "I couldn't muster up the courage to say a single word," like he's embarrassed just thinking about it. The track goes through his entire mind process as he works up the nerve to ask this girl out, until it finally ends with the question "I was wondering maybe if you wanted to hang out tonight? We can make dinner or something." It's a line that anyone can relate to and it adds so much to the power and meaning behind the song.
Musically, the band demonstrates impressive growth. Modern Baseball's previous release, 2012's Sports, is an acoustic, folk-punk influenced record, which allowed their lyrics to shine, but left their instrumentation a bit behind. On this release, the band amps everything up. There are tight, bouncy guitars, and influences from indie rock, emo, and pop-punk.
The album's best track, "Your Graduation" is the ultimate testament to the band's growth. It's a powerful, bombastic, intense song that still features their brutally honest vocals, and even a verse by drummer Sean Huber, who's rough, gruff voice gives the song a hardcore edge that they can implement on future releases.
You're Gonna Miss It All is a fantastic building block for this band, and with all much promise showcased on this album, it just makes it all the more exciting to think about what they could do on their next release.
For more on Modern Baseball, including news, music, and tour dates, head over to their Zumic artist page.