Modern Baseball - Holy Ghost (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Modern Baseball

Holy Ghost (2016)

run for cover

Modern Baseball's catalog of music has been more along the spunky indie/emo/punk line of things but I noticed a dramatic shift in last year's EP. There was something much more open, detailed and personal to their approach. This is echoed here on Holy Ghost which signals what seems to be a shift away from the candid humour of old and adopts a much more intimate tone of storytelling. Or should I say music-documentaries? I say that because this album comes off as a diary and confessional of so many tragic moments in the band's history with one of the lead's (Brendan Lukens) taking the path told recently by bands like Sorority Noise and The Hotelier -- diving into depression and battles with suicide. The musical structure throughout (melodic, bouncy hooks, catchy indie riffs) isn't bucked that much from the stuff they did in the past as it's still upbeat and full of energy but hearing him juxtapose these melancholic lyrics really gut you.

"Everyday" is a prime example of this. A slow-strumming wringer of emotion. There are so many in-depth stories of heartbreak and emotional turmoil here. I love how vulnerable the writing is which blends well with the musical dynamism Modern Baseball have always shown. Lukens and Jake Ewald spilt writing duties which brings to light their friendship and how it's evolved into brotherhood. "Holy Ghost" signals the record's intent early with its acoustic frame, further expanding on "Hiding" and reiterating how bare-boned MoBo are willing to go to make their point before bursting into its catchy end-section. They set the stage early on for the more aggressive section of their campaign. 

The guitar-interplay on "Coding to these Lukens" hypes the rest of the record which is faster and a bit thrashier. Feels like the first half was a therapy session about admittance with the second half being that cathartic scream in an open field to let all the frustration out. "Apple Cider, I Don't Mind" is another example of this, waxing on about unrequited love. Overall, their sound's much tighter. Filled with more impact and warm, relatable moments. It's a passionate plea. Holy Ghost is about compassion and more so, about heart and soul as we confront and put ghosts of the past to bed.