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Major League - Hard Feelings Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 5
Musicianship 5
Lyrics 5
Production 5
Creativity 5
Lasting Value 5
Reviewer Tilt 5
Final Verdict: 50%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8
Musicianship 7.75
Lyrics 7.38
Production 8
Creativity 7.5
Lasting Value 7.38
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Average: 78%
Inside AP.net

Major League - Hard Feelings

Reviewed by: justbradley (01/30/13)
Major LeagueHard Feelings
Record Label: No Sleep Records
Release Date: November 13th, 2013


For the last couple years, I’ve been getting into a lot of pop-punk, and I’ve noticed something – variety and uniqueness is something that’s quite hard to come across in the genre. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not the kind of guy who only likes a band/artist if they’re groundbreakingly different, but that does help. While pop-punk isn’t heavy on the diversity, most pop-punk bands have something that makes them stick out, and it’s usually the vocalist, because that’s the main thing people hear in a band, and in pop-punk, vocals are huge, because the lyrics are certainly what can make or break a pop-punk band. In fact, one reason that PA pop-punk band The Wonder Years are so revered is for Dan “Soupy” Campbell’s lyrical style, which is rather unique and interesting. I actually really enjoy his style, but with every great pop-punk band, you’re going to have ten copies. With that being said, fellow PA pop-punk band Major League is one of these “copes.” They garnered some buzz in the genre with 2011’s Variables EP, and it was a solid EP. The one thing that rather bugged me was how they wore their influences on their sleeve, mainly by directly referencing The Wonder Years in their lyrics. Pop-punk may not be a very diverse genre, but most bands have that one thing that makes them stick out. Major League don’t have that, but that EP did show some potential. Now on No Sleep Records, they finally have released their debut record Hard Feelings, but how does it fair up against other pop-punk bands? Well, I have some rather hard feelings towards it, because this is one of those pop-punk bands that doesn’t really do a lot for me. On one hand, it’s a very nice half hour burst of pop-punk, but on the other, as soon it’s over, I’ve completely forgotten what I’ve heard, because I’ve heard it all before. I wrote in a review for Handguns’ debut record (Angst, out now on Pure Noise Records), “Why have Handguns when you can listen to the AK-47s in the genre?” That refers to the “bigger” pop-punk fans in the genre, like The Wonder Years, Fireworks, and those bands. I had the same problem with this record that I did with Angst – it was rather indistinguishable for the most part. Even the parts that weren’t indistinguishable were just immature to me, really. Thankfully, Major League doesn’t have an immature sound, but it’s just insanely indistinguishable. The record isn’t terrible, per se, but really devoid of any personality. Despite that, there are even more hints of potential, so hopefully the band finds their niche in pop-punk, because with the right improvements, they could be a very popular band.

The record opens with the title track, and while it’s only a minute long, the saddest part about that is that track is only an intro, but it’s pretty much what the whole record sounds like. It’s a very generic intro that just seems to get up the next track, which is first single “Walk Away.” This is a song I briefly heard a few times when it was released, but it never did anything for me, really. The song itself is enjoyable, but this is what I meant about the indistinguishable-ness comes into play; everything about this band is so recycled, I feel like I have heard them before, but with a different vocalist, different lyrics, and different instrumentation. It’s not an awful song (or awful record) but this is where the problems erupt. Moving on, the rest of the song is same way, really; it’s not downright terrible, but it’s extremely devoid of any personality, it’s just a very forgettable record. There are a few highlights, though. I know that’s strange to say, but it’s true, nonetheless.

The first highlight comes in the form of “Nightmares,” which is the longest song on the record at about four and a half minutes. This song features some of my favorite lyrics on the record, too: “I’ve got problems of my own / That’s why I’ve spent these years alone / I never said that I was a nice guy / You’re better off if you just let this go.” It’s the rare moments like these that do make the record worth listening to. This song has a bit more than your average pop-punk sound to it, really; if the band had more songs like this, I could get behind them hard, but sadly, the “generic” songs really outweigh the distinguishable ones. This is the first memorable song on the record, and the worst part is, that’s the fifth track. Next track “Because Heaven Knows” is another “long” track, being about 4 minutes, and this is another interesting track, too; these two tracks are a one-two punch, really, because it shows a glimmer of potential here. Sadly, though, after these two tracks, the record goes back into the clichéd pop-punk territory. The record does end with acoustic track “Need I Remind You,” which appeared on Variables, and that’s a song I really liked, actually. It was an acoustic song that was rather generic, but lyrically was quite interesting. This version is a full band version, and I must say, I preferred the acoustic version. I really preferred it because the emotion was more apparent in vocalist Nick Trask’s voice; this just comes off as another generic pop-punk song that doesn’t seem too much different from the rest of the album. It almost seems like they just sucked the emotion out of this song, to be honest.

If you’re reading this review thinking that I dislike this band / album, you’d be half right. I don’t dislike the band themselves, because if you’re into pop-punk, this is a pretty good band to check out. The energy is there, but it doesn’t really go anywhere. There’s nothing I haven’t heard before on this record, and despite how most pop-punk isn’t very unique, there’s nothing distinguishable about this band. That’s the point I want to stress; if you love pop-punk, I would listen to this record, but for myself, it’s really only worth a few listens. It’s not awful, but it’s certainly nothing I would bat an eye at, either. Listen to it for yourself, though, because it is worth at least one listen.

Recommended If You LikeFour Year Strong, The Wonder Years, Fireworks, I Call Fives, With the Punches, every pop-punk band ever, etc.


Additional Information
Track Listing:
1. Hard Feelings
2. Walk Away
3. Twenty Seven
4. Nightmares
5. Arrows Crossed
6. Landslide
7. Because Heaven Knows
8. Pull Me Out
9. Home Wrecker
10. Final Thoughts
11. Need I Remind You

Major League is:
Nick Trask – Vocals
Brian Joyce – Guitar and Vocals
Matt Chila – Guitar and Vocals
Kyle Bell – Bass
Luke Smartnick – Drums



www.facebook.com/majorleaguerock

Vocals: 5/10
Lyrics: 5/10
Musicianship: 5/10
Production: 5/10
Lasting value: 5/10
Reviewer tilt: 5/10

Overall rating: 5/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 6 of 6
02:24 PM on 02/05/13
#2
Archael
listens to good music
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sweet rating

incredibly accurate rating
11:17 PM on 02/05/13
#3
positiv-o
throwing punches at ocean waves
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I was really into The Truth Is... EP when it first came out, but sort of fell to the bottom of listen list and eventually off my iPod.

The same is soon to happen with this album. It's not that they're bad. In fact, I really love his voice. It's just that there's no super catchy hooks getting stuck in my head, or melodies standing out. The album is forgettable. I think that these guys could benefit from a producer/co-writer who could push them out of their comfort zone.
12:22 AM on 02/07/13
#4
justbradley
Regular Member
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I was really into The Truth Is... EP when it first came out, but sort of fell to the bottom of listen list and eventually off my iPod.

The same is soon to happen with this album. It's not that they're bad. In fact, I really love his voice. It's just that there's no super catchy hooks getting stuck in my head, or melodies standing out. The album is forgettable. I think that these guys could benefit from a producer/co-writer who could push them out of their comfort zone.
You know, that's how I feel about them, really. It's not that they're awful, but it's just they kind of fall to the bottom of the barrel, because there's nothing that sticks out. They're quite textbook pop-punk, but if they worked with the right people, they could get that push to make themselves stand out.
10:46 AM on 02/18/13
#5
Zenester
Just me.
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I thought this album was okay. Definitely not ground breaking though.
09:36 PM on 03/31/13
#6
Jakey94
Registered User
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I know i'm late, but they are from Mullica Hill, NJ. Not Pennsylvania
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