Review: Major League, ‘There’s Nothing Wrong With Me’
Earlier this year, Major League shocked fans everywhere when they announced that vocalist Nick Trask would be leaving the band. All parties issued a statement indicating that there were no hard feelings, and that his departure had more to do with a stylistic change than anything else. Come March, Major League was headed into the studio with Will Yip. Yip has made quite a name for himself in recent years, most notably by working with bands that are looking to change something stylistically. The most obvious example that comes to mind here is Yip’s work with Turnover, where ‘Magnolia’ served as a huge departure from the sound on their self titled EP.
It is because of this pattern that I associate any band’s first record with Yip with something more refined, something that nobody would see coming from them. With this preconception in mind, when ‘There’s Nothing Wrong With Me’ was announced this past August, I was curious to hear just how much Major League had grown. While this record is a definite change in direction, it’s not one that’s so easily digested.
I honestly feel that Major League is a band meant to play pop punk, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Their debut album ‘Hard Feelings’ is a phenomenal effort and a genre staple. The sing alongs are huge, the energy is high, and it’s all around a fun record to listen to. ‘Hard Feelings’ is a record that helped cement a sound for the guys in Major League and to see them completely abandon the sound they had been working towards is mind boggling.
Not for a lack of trying, but I just can’t say that I enjoyed this album as much as I’ve enjoyed Major League’s previous work. I can’t say that I completely hate this record, as I can leave it on in the background while I’m doing other tasks and make it through the whole thing, but to me, a record should be able to be something more than just background noise. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that listening to ‘There’s Nothing Wrong With Me’ feels like listening to a band that’s struggling to find who they are. I have this picture of them in my head grasping for a particular sound, and being just inches away from it. The production is there, but that’s about it. Lyrically, this album is cringeworthy.
For example, on album opener “Wallflower," we’re given lines like “I’m louder than the dead in the dirt/and I’ve lost control of my temper” that only reinforce that image of a band inches from the change they want. These moments are where I can’t help but to miss Nick. I understand that Brian has always written the lyrics for Major League, but his delivery just doesn’t feel as heartfelt or genuine as Nick’s did in the past.
Perhaps the vocal delivery allowed me to look beyond whatever mediocrity may have existed in their older lyrics. I don’t want to sound like every other bleeding heart on Tumblr, but you could truly feel the energy in Nick’s performance, and you couldn’t help but be swept up by it.
‘There’s Nothing Wrong With Me’ feels more like an album that Major League felt they had to make, more than a record they wanted to make. The Internet has seen the band talking about nothing but how excited they are to release the album and that they feel that it’s their best work yet. I understand that how I think the record feels and how the band thinks the record feels aren’t one in the same, I just think that Major League saw how well received the transformations of bands they’ve toured alongside were, and felt like this was what was supposed to happen next in their career.
I will always love the older Major League albums, and I really hope that the faults in this record have more to do with it being a transitional release than anything else; which leads me to wonder if we would have gotten a much better album had Major League decided to try this shift in sound out on an EP rather than a full length. They embody everything that helped revive pop punk at a time in my life where it was all that I listened to. I wish them all the best for the future, and I’m interested to see what will come next for these guys. Here’s to hoping whatever they do next works out for them more than ‘There’s Nothing Wrong With Me’ has. 3/5