Modern Baseball is one of those bands that you knew would grow and grow quickly. Their music has a catchy spring in its step and as rude, smug and candid as it plays out, there's just too much emotional fodder to latch onto. They have a neat formula of using acoustic structures to build indie-punk ballads that linger on the more upbeat side of things, but one thing's for certain -- they mix it up well. If Sports wasn't an indication for you and you still had doubts, then You're Gonna Miss It All will definitely wash away any cynicism you had.
"Fine, Great" utilizes their acoustic-intro magic that swiftly channels a pop-punk pace. It incorporates twinkly guitars and a lighthearted emo effect that Modern Baseball ultimately splices into so much of their music. They love to build their musical foundations on snarky, sassy and sarcastic takes, which at first glance come off juvenile and what you may write off as adolescent memories gone bad, but it's all about nostalgia. It's all about openness and honesty. "Broken Cash Machine" expounds on being alone with charismatic little riffs and solos tucked in over the thumping kit-work of Sean Huber. The busy, campy guitars help to build the effect of swaying moods which the band translates so well in their musical outlay.
More of a pop-punk tempo emerges on "Apartment" which panders brilliantly to its start/stop indie breakdowns and coming-of-age tone, from a band that's seemingly come of age. The pacing and structure of the tracks show just why they're breaking out of the shadows, and to achieve such a quippy, relaxed track-set while portraying an unrestrained narrative is no easy task. They run the risk of coming off cheesy and redundant, but musically they intertwine so many influences. They intersperse bits of Dashboard Confessional and of course, Say Anything, but all in all, it seems like this is their true sound and the proverbial breaking out of the shell.
Huber's marching-band percussion on "The Old Gospel Choir" sticks to the swoon-inducing guitars that add a huge emo flavor before spinning off into more hazy, distorted territory. The dual vocals of Brendan Lukens and Jacob Ewald strengthen the album so much and their interchanges are near-perfect. This stands out on the album and shows it's not a necessity to craft songs with happy endings. Their lyrical candor bounces off romantic themes and extrapolates so much from life, but what makes this song so hard-hitting is a mid-tempo pacing, allowing the lyrics time to simmer and soak in. It's about inferring how delicate the balance in life is when it comes to moments of exuberance and little extrusions that jag at those fucked-up situations we often find ourselves in, hating a significant other. And yeah, on that note, this IS NOT a record to take in if you just had a bad break-up. Then again...
"Charlie Black" is a nice gear switch into a hard rock realm and it's a rush of blood to the head if you were being bogged down with their poppy, intrepid style. It's almost as exceptional as the track above with a very solid, grave temperament, but it doesn't stick as much. That doesn't take away how resounding the mid-card of the record is. The pacing again really is so well done. "Your Graduation" feels like an accoutrement of victory as it highlights their indie-punk flair. So much style, yet so much substance, and if you're in denial about this, hit up "Pothole," which swings into the acoustic anecdote that's fucking heartbreaking and tear-jerking, in the very least. It's about someone wanting to be placed atop the mantle, of someone who doesn't deem them worthy enough. Them feelings. This album is full of them and it's assuredly going to be dubbed their best work to date. I bet everything on it.