You'll have to excuse Brendan Lukens for being so direct. It's all he knows. The vocalist for Philadelphia rock band Modern Baseball opens the band's latest song, "Charlie Black," with the unabashedly diary-esque line, "I'm pretty good at feeling sorry for myself/Making up fake lIves but nothing, like, tangible." Fuse has the exclusive premiere below.
Lukens' vocals feel laid-back and relaxed, almost lazy if you're uninitiated to the world of indiepunkemo where Modern Baseball resides. In reality, you know there's nothing Lukens cares about more than singing these journal-entry lyrics. "Your Graduation," the band's latest single, shows that Lukens is the type of guy who never forgets the girls that have dumped him; that he's the type of guy who spends most of his nights wide awake.
"Charlie Black" comes right in the middle of MoBo's sophomore LP, You're Gonna Miss It All, out February 11 on Run For Cover. The record follows the introduction that was Sports, an album that showed off the quartet's brand of hyper-personal songwriting. Modern Baseball is always fully immersed and concerned with what's going on right-here-right-now or something that spurned them a while ago.
The band is at its best when it's playing shambolic, acoustic-infused indie punk and You're Gonna Miss It All shows that off. "Charlie Black" leans on the heavier side, but the MoBo core is here in the unguarded lyrical nature. (On the chorus, Lukens sings, "Tragedy's got my heart a-beating, rethinking all my days").
For Sports, Lukens, guitarist/vocalist Jake Ewald, bassist Ian Farmer and drummer Sean Huber wanted to document what was going on in their lives during their undergraduate years at Drexel University. It wasn't written with the intent of being picked up by one of the most important indie labels in the country, attracting modest Tumblr fame or earning one of the most coveted opening slots on any tour this year (that'd be with The Wonder Years, Defeater, Citizen and Real Friends, by the way). But all that stuff happened. The band's reaction? "We're kind of peeing our pants a little," they tell Fuse.
You're Gonna Miss It All will make sure that no one misses Modern Baseball. The group stepped up their game this time, recording the album with Jon Low (The National, Local Natives). "We just kind of laughed," the band tells us, "when we listened to the first mixes of the album. We said, 'We might have pulled off something here.'"