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REVIEW: Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost

%22Holy+Ghost%22+by+Modern+Baseball

"Holy Ghost" by Modern Baseball

"Holy Ghost" by Modern Baseball

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It’s not angry, it’s intimate. But that’s what pop punk aims for, punk rock emotion with an indie rock temperament.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Philadelphia punk, which means I have a soft spot for Modern Baseball– a pop punk/emo garage rock group formed initially as a duo by Jake Ewald and Brendan Lukens. The pair met at a Maryland high school because of a girl one of them liked- it’s pop punk, go figure. After graduating and moving to Philly for college, Jake and Brendan added drummer Sean Huber and bassist Ian Farmer to help record their first studio album.

That album was called Sports, which they produced themselves and released in 2012. It was so well-received that it scored the group a contract with Run for Cover Records to record their second album, You’re Gonna Miss It All, which was released in 2014.

Since 2014, the band has toured with genre veterans The Wonder Years, Say Anything and, after releasing their third studio album Holy Ghost in May, Joyce Manor.

With Holy Ghost, Modern Baseball is doing something they really haven’t before. They’ve always sounded like a moody teenage garage band, and I say that as a compliment, but they’ve shifted away from a teenage angst angle and have managed to record a really mature and creative album.

Pop Punk is notorious for its conversational lyrical style, and while Holy Ghost maintains that style, there’s a heavier focus on the sound behind the lyrics and the whole album comes across as a really innovative approach to a formulaic genre.

Another cool thing the band did with this album is making it less than half an hour long. Their eyes weren’t bigger than their stomachs with this and I think it provides a really professional balance between bummer jam and mosh-pit worthy rock.

I wouldn’t describe the sound as tidy, but I wouldn’t call it gritty either. It’s unique because they rotate vocalists, so the style shifts but the vibe is the same. It feels like just hanging out. I want to listen to it while I’m sitting in the back of someone’s van or finished basement, passing around a smoke and reminiscing about ‘ 90s cartoons.

Holy Ghost is quintessential pop punk. It is organized chaos, as my grandma would say.

I missed them on the Holy Ghost tour, but luckily, they signed on earlier this year to tour with Brand New and The Front Bottoms, two of my personal favorites.

Each of the three bands are prominent in the genre, but each have extraordinarily different sounds, I’m really looking forward to the show, which will be later this month, October 22, at the Rave.

All in all, Holy Ghost is an album I want to scream back to the band in a dive venue. It’s why I love this genre. These guys are what it’s all about.

Best Tracks: Holy Ghost, Hiding, Wedding Singer

Worst Tracks: I’ve got none- the whole album is good

Overall: 9.5/10

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