Modern Baseball were once pigeonholed by terms like "pop punk" and "emo" for their similarities to bands like Minneapolis' departing Motion City Soundtrack. But the Philly quartet has quickly become an exciting young rock band, period. One of the immediately striking things about the band is singers Jake Ewald and Brendan Lukens and the nasal, even nerdy vocals they use to deliver mouthfuls about girl trouble and social anxiety, as well as modern concerns like social media account activity and monthly data plans. Like the Hold Steady, Modern Baseball opt for shouted choruses and forceful riffs. Just as soon as they risk losing your attention, they turn the quirky verbiage into hard-charging hooks. This year's Holy Ghost
is the latest in their run of concise, half-hour albums, sectioned off by Ewald and Lukens writing the first and second halves, respectively. Together, they lead a band with a unique balance that's built to last, wherever critical circles place them. With Joyce Manor and Thin Lips. 15+.