The whole emo “sing like you don’t care” scene is all the craze in punk today, and lots of artists are failing to find a niche within the sound and become just another whiny band. Modern Baseball escapes that cliché with their new album, Holy Ghost.
Honestly, I categorized MoBo under that cliché before I heard this album, and I still standby that most of their material prior sounds that way to me (&I saw them live at Skate And Surf twice!). Regardless, this album was definitely a refreshing sound to sore ears. Beginning with the folky acoustic lo-fi ‘Holy Ghost’, the albums starts off on a sweet and sombre note. The good vibes kick in immediately with ‘Wedding Singer’, that builds on the sweet intro with an alternative rock drive to it and elaborates on the sweetness of the beginning. ‘Note To Self’ follows up on the vibes with a big summer vibe. Lots of the songs have that big sound with a taste of good feelings, such as ‘Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind’. The closure track on the record, ‘Just Another Face’ is a grand song to close on, triumphant all the while ending the album on a thematically pleasing way.
That isn’t to say there are some low points on the record. The sincerity of the track ‘Hiding’ is completely ruined by the murderous distorted drum sample that plays right in the middle of it. Do yourself a favor and turn your volume down for this one. The song builds softly with little tidbits in the background that just clutter up the song, and it would honestly be my favorite song on the album had it not been for all these rogue samples. The second half of the album barring ‘Just Another Face’ feels uninspired, as well; ‘Coding These To Lukens’ is dinky but lacks any substance, making it feel like a filler. ‘Breathing In Stereo’ is a strong punch to the face, but the energy is thrown off by the following tracks that have the same issue ‘Coding’ does.
Modern Baseball made a profound mark on the indie punk culture, and while I still stand by my original opinions on their back catalogue, Holy Ghost is definitely an all around great record. With the genre becoming more monotone with acts who fill the cliché, this album was a refresher. Perhaps it’s time to give them another chance.
Favorite Tracks: Wedding Singer, Just Another Face, Holy Ghost
Least Favorite Tracks: Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind; What If...