REVIEW: Modern Baseball’s Holy Ghost
May 19, 2016
Filed under Arts and Entertainment
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If there’s one thing that stands out about Modern Baseball to me, it’s not the witty lyrics, or the moving instrumentals; it’s the fact that they mean something to people. I can’t seriously say that any band has made me feel the way Modern Baseball has, and I’m not sure I ever want to. With four genuine members and now three remarkable albums, they’ve made a mark on the emo indie-rock scene that won’t soon be washed away.
While Friday, May 13 was the album release date for their new album Holy Ghost, Modern Baseball put it on Bandcamp the Monday before. I got the text from a friend about the album while I was at lunch and immediately logged onto the school WI-FI to see how Modern Baseball was ever going to top their other two albums.
The record, Holy Ghost, is unique in the way that it’s split in two. Guitarist Jake Ewald takes the first half of the songs, and singer Brendan Lukens takes the second half.
The opening song “Holy Ghost,” which is what the album was named after, is a beautifully emotional song Ewald wrote about his late grandfather to make sense of his jumbled emotions. The slower “Holy Ghost” easily transitions to a faster song called “Wedding Singer.” When I had first heard the transition, I gained back years of my life I thought I had lost. The songs to follow, “Note to Self,” “Mass,” and “Everyday” are equally as breathtaking as the previous two. Track 6, however is a different story.
What is said to be the best Modern Baseball song written, “Hiding” offers a slow start with honest lyrics about loss and nostalgia, but soon builds up until the instrumentals are only what could described as gripping, pulling me in and bringing tears to my eyes.
After “Hiding,” Luken’s songs start and immediately you can sense the change between the two artist’s tracks. While both are melancholy, Luken’s are a bit faster, angrier. Until that is, we get to his song “Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind.” The instrumentals feel like a car ride on a warm summer night with friends, but the lyrics, almost desperate. The juxtaposition offers a sound that is one you can either chill to, or think about past friends and lovers to. Your choice.
When I’ve asked people which song is their favorite, if it’s not the previously mentioned “Hiding,” it’s “Just Another Face.” The chorus offers a heartening message from Luken’s, who’s no stranger to depression and addiction. It reassures listeners that he’s here for us, and he’s proud. I hope he knows fans offer the same support to him. Sometimes we all need to hear that, no matter how famous.
Overall, the album is beautiful and everything I could’ve asked for. I definitely give it five out of five stars, and I look forward to what’s to come for Modern Baseball.