Quite simply, never has the world needed a new Ball Park Music album more than in 2020.
The Brisbane outfit’s style of indie rock has transformed somewhat over the last decade, with raw belters giving way to a string of more polished, but no less adventurous tunes.
But whether it’s a catchy and uplifting effort or one of many gut-wrenching pools of emotion they’ve delivered over the years, all of Ball Park Music’s discography is infused with an overriding feeling of hope. They are a band whose music has been a constant source of catharsis to their fans and anyone who happens to be listening, and that inimitable quality is there in spades on their sixth studio album.
The follow-up to Good Mood plays out just like a good Ball Park Music album should. The three singles that preceded its release are actually a pretty good snapshot of what to expect from the album.
In March we were gifted a dose of positive energy in ‘Spark Up!’, and followed by the chilled ‘Day & Age’, and more recently the album’s longest ballad ‘Cherub’, undoubtedly one of the high points of the entire record.
It’s a song the band can add to their ever-growing likes of ‘middle of the live set’ songs for when everyone has just finished head-banging to a faster bop and are keen to sway back and forth (if we’re ever allowed to stand arm in arm again at a gig).
“What about the quirky side of Ball Park that fucks around with structure and convention?” I hear you ask. Not to fear. There’s plenty of personality and fun on tracks like ‘Head Like A Sieve’, ‘Bedroom’ and ‘Obit’.
Of course, long-time fans of the band will be excited to see part three of a song that first appeared on their 2012 record Museum, and eight years on, ‘Bad Taste Blues (Part III)’ doesn’t disappoint.
Perhaps the zenith of the album, and what I’m declaring the most relevant track of 2020 (don’t @ me), comes on its third track, ‘Nothing Ever Goes My Way’. This song goes pretty far to capturing the essence of Ball Park Music, and it’s 12 or so years of existence, in 3 minutes and 40 seconds.
‘Nothing Ever Goes My Way’ is perhaps a deceiving title, but if you know Sam Cromack and co, you’ll know there’s few better at projecting emotions of frustration and sadness over an ABSOLUTE BOP.
“Tell me, tell me now, why nothing ever goes my way, I’m so strung out,” Cromack sings, over and over, as the song escalates with intensity and fuller textures. Until, of course, they strip it all away and there’s an emotive and yet still just as powerful instrumental refrain, with guitar, horn and then piano to give you all the feels.
The song perfectly dovetails into what feels like its second act; ‘I Feel Nothing’, which is more of a gritty, hard-hitter… but no less satisfying. The pair will go well back-to-back at a live show, and boy am I keen to see an album tour hopefully not too far away.
‘Ball Park Music – The Album’ is out today. Tonight the Brissy band kick off a week-long, multi-show residency at The Triffid. Fans outside of Brisbane can live-stream tonight’s show via from 9:30 PM via deliveredlive.tv.