This’ll be a shorter-than-usual one, but I have a good reason! I’m working on a lengthy, philosophical article for my next post. My attention is elsewhere…
Feast yo’ ears on Ball Park Music ! These guys deserve an exclaimation point. They’re really, really good.
If you’re Australian, chances are you’ve heard of this sextet; they’ve been blowing up Triple J’s airwaves for a while now. I don’t know if they’ve hit it big internationally yet, but it’s only a matter of time. They are world-class. Ball Park Music make seemingly ‘simple’ (read: easily digestible) pop. But it’s not actually as simple as it looks. There’s a LOT going on in their songs. Their lyrics, while quite simply-worded and literal, are clever and different. The best thing is, they are an incredibly tight and professional live band. Their melodic and well-produced recordings are very, very close to how they sound onstage, and that can unfortunately be rare for a lot of bands!
Ross and I saw Ball Park Music play at a NYE festival in Brisbane last year, and were blown away. During their show we mumbled something like “Well, we might as well give up music, then” to each other. They were that crazy-good. Frontman Sam Cromack is EXTREMELY entertaining. He has this sort of nerdy-yet-cocky charm, and flails around the stage with manic enthusiasm. Paul Furness’ trombone and keyboard stylings were also a standout; he unexpectedly switched between the two instruments with great ease, and to impressive effect. Without singling out anyone else by name, all of the other members of the band were up to the same high standard. Ball Park Music is a very tight unit, and their shows are full of instrument-switching, funny anecdotes and very high energy. I’m not even **usually** a fan of this particular brand of pop, but Ball Park Music reminded me not to rule out any genre. They do it so well that it’s difficult not to like.
Another thing I love about them is their sense of humour. See what I mean in this clip:
It takes a lot of cheek to write a song with the saccahrine name “It’s Nice to Be Alive”, and have it actually be GOOD.
Another song I love of theirs is “iFly” (“I Fucking Love You”). How can you not love a song that drops the f-bomb in a chorus? Plus, it’s kind of neat to see that a guitar store I have shopped from (in Brisbane’s Paddington) is in the vid!:
I can hear some sixties (Beatles?) influence in their work, as well as perhaps the tiniest touch of grunge. Not the grungy sound, but the occasional melody line/chord arrangement has slight echos of silverchair and Nirvana. I could be imagining this, though, plus Nirvana’s most popular work is quite poppy too. There’s just, to me, a slight 90’s ‘simple, guitar driven pop’/Britpop touch to what they’re doing.
Ball Park Music have gone from strength to strenth in Australia. The 2011 release of their debut full-length album Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs was huge. It was voted #10 in the Triple J listeners album poll in December 2011. I can’t wait to see what these guys/gals do next! Google that shiz!
See you next time 🙂