AU ABROAD

Album Review: Modern Baseball - You're Gonna Miss It All (2014 LP)

It's very likely that pop punk – good, honest pop punk, pop punk about pizza and heartbreak and how you're too good for this town – never really went away, but it seemed like it did. It seemed a lot like emo killed it at the same time as it was raising it up because all of a sudden it was about skinny jeans and synths and no one was wearing scuffed up vans and writing songs about girls called 'Chelsea' or 'Allison' anymore.

It's not a bad thing, but the emo thing got old really fast and it seemed to pretty much kill pop punk along with it. Maybe we all got fun fatigue, I don't know. But anyway, a few years ago bands started popping up again – The Wonder Years, Man Overboard with their 'Defend Pop Punk' campaign, among others – and there was a whole new generation of kids (and I say kids because, largely unlike last time, women are involved) singing songs about pizza and loneliness and getting fucked up but it's okay because whatever man. I'm calling it the pop-punk renaissance, because I can be kind of a wanker like that sometimes.

This is where Modern Baseball comes in with their sophomore album You're Gonna Miss It All. They're pop-punk by way of The Get Up Kids and The Mountain Goats, their earnest frustration and alienation tainted by modern cynicism and the natural fatigue that every twenty-something in the 21st century is living with. It's self-absorbed and frustrated and mumbly and so catchy, oh god so catchy. As an album, it's almost perfect. The songs are just so perfectly crafted they're like little three-minute sections of joy, but not like pure, happy joy, more the kind of happy you feel when you're fifteen and some band you discover finally gets you. The lyrics are interesting and a little jagged, Brendan Lukens' vocals are drone-y and tired sounding, but it works perfectly, the choruses and hooks are beautiful, and the drummer – Sean Huber – deserves a special mention, he's really good.

The stand-out track on the stand out album are...okay, most of them. "Charlie Black" has a surf-rock kind of chorus, all singable and gang-vocal-y. "Fine, Great" starts off simpler, before artfully leaping into a rowdier – but still restrained – song about the crippling existential dread of the future, which is something I think we can all get behind. Also, it mentions Instagram without it being weird, which is kind of a feat and shows that while Modern Baseball sound like they might fit in perfectly with '90s era Get Up Kids, they're firmly a 2010s band.

Modern Baseball write songs about being bored, anxious, disaffected, nervous, alienated, and lonely. And then they jam in rad choruses and make you want to sing your existential horror away. They're riding a wave of these new pop punk bands who are getting a whole new generation of kids into the mosh, a whole new generation of kids scrawling lyrics and band symbols on their beat up chuck taylors, and honestly it's good. They're a band that lodges in the heart and in the ear. You're Gonna Miss It All is just a really wonderful album, definitely check it out if you like well...any of the bands mentioned hear. Or if you just have two ears and a heart and still feel a little lost sometimes.

Review Score: 9 out of 10.

You're Gonna Miss It All is out now.