The Isotopes - Heatseeker (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Isotopes

Heatseeker (2009)

Red Scare

I know what you're thinking. "Oh great, another Ramones-core pop-punk band released an EP on Red Scare. Big deal." But one shouldn't dismiss the Isotopes so quickly, because they bring something completely new and fresh to the table. What separates this band from all of the others is that, um, er... they sing about baseball.

Yes, all four songs are about baseball, and the gimmick doesn't end there. The band's name is (obviously) derived from Homer Simpson's company baseball team; they wear matching baseball caps when they play live, and their MySpace page is loaded with baseball references (perhaps the finest being their home city as Louisville, rather than their true home of Vancouver).

Luckily, the band's gimmick comes off as charming rather than tired. They keep it short and sweet, with four songs in just over seven minutes. It kicks off appropriately with arguably the best track, "Heatseeker," which provides a first-person narrative of a pitcher who has a tendency to go for some sweet chin music. It's fast, it's catchy, and it encapsulates the band's sound and theme perfectly. The other three songs don't stray too far in sound, but their topics are the suicide squeeze play, bad characters in the locker room, and the infield fly rule. "Infield Fly" is particularly great, with excellent vocal harmonies and wonderful lyrics trying to explain this somewhat complex rule and the different scenarios in which it's not in effect.

The only foul ball on the EP is "Poison in the Clubhouse," which is just a bit too repetitive for its own good. Other than that, the four tracks are simple, silly fun that should get the toes of listeners tapping as they wait for the 2010 season to start up.