I tried to date a girl named Ilana in my sophomore year of high school.
By tried, I mean that we spent a lot of time together for a couple weeks right around midterms. I pretended to like Radiohead when we talked on AOL Instant Messenger (to win Cool Points with her) and she faked her laughs when I quoted Stella in her dad’s car (to shut me up, I guess). I knew she wasn’t into me; she was talking to another boy around the same time and I would often receive instant messages from her when he flaked on plans they made, hours after she cancelled our movie nights and
such. They ended up dating for a few years. It’s cool.
This kind of friend-zone sentiment appears pretty quickly and oddly specifically on Modern Baseball’s sophomore album, You’re Gonna Miss It All (Run For Cover). Here’s co-vocalist Brendan Lukens rattling off on a similar situation on opening track “Fine, Great”:
“I know that you just adore / Starting off with me / That way that there’s no
way that I’ll assume / That you’re wasting all of my time / To vent about your problems / Like how your Instagram stopped working / And how your friends bailed on you / But it was funny because it was the day you were supposed to hang with me.”
Yeah, about that.
This is Modern Baseball’s biggest asset, this hypersensitive lyrical attention to detail, coupled with knowing their way around a tune, that made 2012’s Sports, their first record, quickly resonate (especially with other 20-somethings). But Sports was pieced together rather haphazardly. Being fully preconceived from the beginning as a full band, You’re Gonna Miss It All improves on all of Sports’ charms and nuances.
Lukens and Jake Ewald have a far more even spread on songs this time around, splitting vocal duties roughly in half. Their voices are pretty similar – not too eloquent and a little heavy on the vowels (adorkable, some might say). This only characterizes the songs even further, like Ewald’s punchline-spitting punk scene frustration on “Going to Bed Now” or when Lukens pulls a rhyme scheme fast one on us on “The Old Gospel Choir”: “Breaking up never felt so cruel / And now I’m tired and now I’m dead to… / Me.”
Sonically speaking, the record strays a bit from the greatly acoustic-tinged Sports; the band’s sound is fully fleshed out, particularly in the lead guitars, aided with mixing from Jon Low and Will Yip. Some quieter moments can be found in “Timmy Bowers” and the gorgeous closing track “Pothole,” but You’re Gonna Miss It All is largely a much louder affair. When we piece it all together though, You’re Gonna Miss It All captures a moment in awkward and wide-eyed youth with such empathy and approximation that you kind of have to stop and wonder if all young people essentially experience the same kind of heartbreak and anxieties in the 21st century before realizing that, yeah, I guess they do, and it’s cathartic to hear them be expounded on in such a familiar way. Continue reading →