Ah, baseball. The classic game that brings families together. Is there anything more iconic of America’s more positive aspects? Perhaps The Simpsons, depending on which seasons you’re talking about. Fittingly enough, The Isotopes (who hail from the Great White North, it should be noted) bring these two American pastimes together. Named after Springfield’s minor league team, The Isotopes write sweet and catchy pop punk tunes about one thing, and one thing only: baseball.
Imagine if the first two Riverdales albums had the same glossy production as Masked Intruder, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect from The Isotopes’ latest album, 1994 World Series Champions (for those who are too lazy to look it up: the title is a reference to the fact that there was no World Series in 1994, thus there was no team to win the championship). Only one song on the album passes the two and a half minute mark, with only a third of remaining nine tracks breaking two minutes at all. There are several references to the Sandlot, former major league players, and not wanting the season to end. On the punk end of the spectrum, the album begins with a slight Germs reference (“What We Do Ain’t Secret”) and ends with a Black Flag-like chant, if Black Flag weren’t so rigid (“Sandlot Party”).
Is it gimmicky? Yeah, it most certainly is. But that doesn’t stop it from being any less fun. Pop punk is rarely about reinventing the wheel, and is more about catchy sing-along tunes. The Isotopes know exactly what they’re playing at, and they don’t hide it at all.
4 / 5
RIYL: Riverdales, The Hextalls, Masked Intruder