Pennsylvania emo four-piece Modern Baseball (MoBo to their fans) are still going strong on the back of their latest album, Holy Ghost. Released in summer 2016 it’s their first that wasn’t self-recorded, one of the many indications that they have matured as a band. Loving them for the witty, bordering on sassy at times, lyrics that conveyed the band’s ironic take on social media and the pressures of growing up, the more sombre route they took with Holy Ghost failed to make an impression on me on first listen. Returning to it in advance of the gig has made me realise I was wrong to write it off, and I’m now anticipating seeing their performance of it nearly as much as I am their first two records Sports and You’re Gonna Miss It All. There are songs on the album that really feel like the band are opening up and letting go of emotion. In addition to the poppy, catchy favourites of their previous albums, the frustrated, angry, even aggressive feel of Breathing in Stereo and What if will certainly add some edge to the proceedings. The rawness of an open emotional wound throughout the title track is surely going to stun in its live incarnation and it’s now clear why the album made it so far up the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart - ranking at 53 is no mean feat for an emo band.
MoBo are touring with fellow Philly-based, pop punk, Lame-O-Records signees Thin Lips and The Super Weaks, who are bound to make the gig a friendly all-American quirk fest with songs like Non-Monogamy Nightmare and Nietzsche’s Harvest Song. So, if you’re in the mood for bitter sweet emo or sing-along pop-rock tunes you can bounce to then get a ticket and head over to Bristol’s Bierkeller on the 13th of February. Just remember… whatever forever.