Ignoring the avalanche of social media references that litter this album, you can find a stunning body of work that will validate at least a second listen. And although Modern Baseball inevitably misses the mark with their debut album, there’s a lot worth mentioning. You’re more than forgiven for checking out after a cursory glance of the track listing, or the first in-song-mention of twitter, texting, Facebook, or, unforgivably, an iPhone. But if you can look past the internet jargon and way too much self-conscious irony, there are the bare-bones of some really phenomenal songs. The drums are beautifully reliable and the guitar work, while nothing revolutionary, contributes smartly and dutifully phrases the songs of Sports.
Now, to come to the deliberately unsure vocals of Brendan Lukens, it’s safe to say that his voice is polarizing – to be nice – and the lyrics smack of what we all hate about irony-cum-hipster culture, but when the lyrics stick to the basics and he sings with the glorious timbre of an early and obscure John K. Samson, Lukens and Modern Baseball can seriously nail it.
“Re-done” is a great example of this band’s high ceiling, and the touchingly subtle “Cooke” (seriously is that John K. Samson singing?) shows a natural songwriter who doesn’t need to rely on being ostentatiously “different” in order to be valid. But we forgive, because youth surely isn’t infallible, and there’s enough here to suggest that Modern Baseball can build off this adolescent release and truly impress.
02. Tears Over Beers
03. The Weekend
05. Hours Outside In The Snow
06. I Think You Were In My Profile Picture Once
09. See Ya, Sucker
10. Look Out
11. Play Ball!
Run Time: 30:48
Release Date: December 12, 2012
Check out the album ‘Sports’