Modern Baseball is a band that has often frustrated me whilst having me gripped with their unusually unique sound. Last time I reviewed one of their albums I found myself slating the entire project despite having some favourite-songs-of-the-year on that LP. I found myself annoyed at their lack of attention to detail over the little songs and their obsesent use of the same vocal melody over and over making the album bland when it could of been excellent. How would they pan out this time around?
Well personally this is album is a HUGE leap forward for the group showing so much diversity and a real musical development from their somewhat often whiney past. The lyrics on this LP are crafted so brilliantly being so relatable, so creative, often funny yet also melancholy and endearing. ‘Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind’, is the standout I feel proving that these guys are capable of modern poetry whilst still being unafraid to characterize their own experiences and personality. There are a few decorative instrumental melodies that also are really pleasing to hear showing a greater depth to what they can actually do as accompaniment. Again the drumming and bass-lines are just functional showing no real technical ability outside of your standard emo/pop punk project but then that is more than suitable for the sound they are going for. I particularly liked ‘Breathing In Stereo’ since it capitalized on their pop punk roots whilst also showcasing these ‘Killers-esque’ guitar decorative licks on guitar henceforth further escalating this idea of the bands progression. After mentioning ‘The Killers’ I can see so many influences of their discography here in Holy Ghost. I know from a band perspective that the influence has never been under spoken but I think it is a good thing because it shows some variety in the bands prowess.
My one gripe however is that the album is criminally short at just 27 minutes long. Less than half an hour for an album with 11 tracks is incredibly underwhelming and left me feeling somewhat incomplete after finishing the album; there was a huge build-up with no climactic magnum opus for the band to finish knocking me off my chair. With songs often falling around the 2 minute mark, it left me a touch disappointed at their inability or rather disinterest in stringing together slightly longer sequences to just flesh out particular sounds they were experimenting with.
7/10 – Massive leap in the right direction from their last LP but inexcusably short.