Pop-punk has always been a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I came of age during it’s heyday, when bands like Blink-182, Sum 41, The Ataris, The Vandals, and Bowling For Soup dominated MTV and the radio. When Millencolin, Lagwagon, Pennywise and NOFX were popular to the hardcore fans of the genre. It reminds me of a time when I was young and the world was still sitting at my feet, out there and waiting for me to conquer it. I even played in a pop-punk band in high school. The simple compositions, the immature and comical lyrics about growing up and defying authority. For a teenager, it was perfect in that moment.
So it’s this baggage that I bring forward to today, when I still find myself listening to this music every now and then along with it’s more modern contemporaries in My Chemical Romance, Fallout Boy and the like. Modern Baseball, I thought, would carry on this tradition into modern music. It is, after all, labelled as pop-punk music. It’s a logical conclusion to draw, I would think. So imagine my complete disappointment when this album, Holy Ghost, failed to deliver on one single song that was listenable. From opening to close, this whole thing went wrong. The best it could ever muster was drifting into Dashboard Confessional territory, but not even the popular Dashboard stuff. I mean the unenjoyable Dashboard. The stuff you only hear if you buy the album and listen to it all the way through.
I will say that some of the music itself found catchy riffs and hooked on to something that came close to being listenable, but one thing just kept killing this album. The singing. And when I say singing, I mean singing in the loosest of possible definitions. It’s really more like rhythmic talking and it hurts me to hear it. Don’t get me wrong, this genre has never been known for it’s refined or complex vocals, but Modern Baseball drags it into the world of just being boring to hear.
I hate to say it, but this was the first album that I just out right regretted taking on to review. I barely got through the first listen through, then completely bailed on it halfway through the second time around. There really isn’t much more to say about it. This album did to pop-punk, for me, what Michael Bay’s Ninja Turtles did for that franchise. Took something I remember loving as a younger version of myself and running it into the ground.
Overall Rating: 1 of 5 Stars (because zero isn’t a number)
Favorite Track: N/A (that isn’t a song name, I didn’t like any of this)