Modern Baseball, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a four-piece rock band with seriously heavy punk influences. I liken them to Interpol, Kings of Leon and early The Killers.
Their fourth album, “Holy Ghost” is a half-hour long experience that switches back and forth between feeling somber and pining, and having a loud, good time. Really though, the somber feeling is underlying in every song.
Interestingly, the album’s writing was split between the two front men Jake Ewald and Brendan Lukens. Ewald wrote the first half, and the second was written by Brendan Lukens. Ewald’s half deals with his family and the passing of his grandfather, and Lukens’s half deals with depression and experience with mental illness. At no point does the album feel whiny or obnoxious. They go about their songs in a beautiful way that feels natural.
The vocals are less singing, more musical talking. Lukens isn’t really a singer, he’s more of a poet that adds a lilt to his voice over the music. For those of us who can’t sing (such as myself) this only aids in making the band more relatable.
For the majority of the album, the songs flow into one another continuously. There are only a few instances, later in the album, that songs seem more standalone. The instrumentals, and their moods, mesh seamlessly, grabbing the listener with a feeling and bringing them through a range of emotions in just a few minutes. The band is very good at conveying emotion vocally, lyrically and instrumentally.
Quite possibly the best album I’ve heard so far this year, “Holy Ghost” is a must-listen for fans of the band and indie rock. Stream it on Spotify, pick it up for $9.99 on iTunes.