LABEL: LAME-O RECORDS
With Modern Baseball on an indefinite hiatus Jake Ewald has had a lot of time to focus on his side project Slaughter Beach, Dog, releasing an EP last year leading into the sophomore album, Birdie. There is a lot of Modern Baseball about this record, that is to say there is a lot of Jake Ewald’s particular brand of song-writing and vocal delivery, there’s a lot of Modern Baseball about it.
This doesn’t mean that this is just another spin off band that sounds exactly like the original however, there are so many more influences that come from this record it’s almost incredible. The influences spread as far as Elvis Depressedly to the Americana punk stylings of The Gaslight Anthem. Between songs about looking for the perfect record to listen to while having sex to going to the pharmacy they still haven’t lost any of their charm in this expansive style.
The album might lack the big hooks that Modern Baseball are known for (see every song on You’re Gonna Miss It All) but that doesn’t mean it isn’t memorable. ‘Bad Beer’ is an obvious example of a song with no great chorus that will worm its way into your brain for hours after listening.
It’s an album that revels in its perceived simplicity. Each song has a charm to it that could trick you into it being sung by some busker in a dusty American town, but beneath that Jake Ewald’s musical prowess shows through. There is so much going on in each song that needs to be there else it’d sound empty but if anything had gone wrong then it would have sounded far too full.
Birdie has an ability to draw you into the story of each song that almost no other band has. Each song grows and grows and with each layer you’re dragged more and more into the song until you’re totally immersed. It’s an experience that will almost certainly leave you hooked by the end of the first track and obsessed long after the closing bars of ‘Acolyte’ have drifted away.
WORDS: NATHAN REYNOLDS
Birdie will be released on the 27th October via Lame-o Records.