Major League - There's Nothing Wrong With Me (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Major League

There's Nothing Wrong With Me (2014)

No Sleep Records

When Eric Trask left New Jersey pop-punkers Major League, I got even more interested in how There's Nothing Wrong With Me would shape up. I loved their 2012 debut LP in Hard Feelings and a lot of this was credited to the raw energy of Trask on the mic. It's a pleasure to report however that as the band switches gears with backup vocalist/guitarist Brian Joyce taking the reins, there isn't much fizz lost. In fact, while some of their sound seems tempered back a bit, Joyce's overly-personal lyrics add a lot of fleshed out, emotional content to build steam to a band that seems a bit more filled with substance, as opposed to style.

This isn't saying that they didn't balance the two before because they damn well did but now, under Joyce's lead, things are a bit more refined, direct and make for great storytelling. He focuses a lot on interpersonal relationships as well as his depression which stretch far and wide from the pacey, pop-punk "Graves" (something fans would be more than familiar with) to the more tension-ridden "Kaleidoscopes". The latter wanders into more Balance and Composure and Title Fight territory but on the whole, the record doesn't deviate much from their old style. I expected There's Nothing Wrong With Me to bring a more drastic shift in music with it but thankfully, it's only in Joyce's honest and vulnerable tales that things change up.

Major League make this aspect of being more open work pretty well. They really fine-tune their alternative-punk vibe into the melodically haunting "Just As I Am" as well as the deeply exposing acoustic in "Montreal". These tunes play off family, religion and self-blame. However, at this point a couple tracks ensue which run the risk of throwing you off the track. In fact, things feel a tad front-loaded as you stroll past the middle of the album only for the dynamic, bouncy punk bangers like "Bruiser" and "Rittenhouse" to reel you back in. The driving guitar riffs here nod to Hard Feelings a lot and this bout of nostalgia's most appreciated. Tinges of Trask do pop to mind in intervals here. The flair's still present.

Ultimately, while not as rough-layered as their previous works, this sophomore LP packs a lot of punch. A few songs miss the mark but the majority really stick with the charisma that's attached to Major League. Brian Joyce and co. definitely follow up pretty well and it's safe to say, there's nothing wrong with how they've moved on and evolved.