When they let the music carry the day over the lyrics, Major League is a volatile rock act with a subtle streak.
Major League's second record is another blast of pop-punk-inspired rock music. Things have changed a bit over time for the band, as guitarist Brian Joyce has taken over vocal duties, but the follow-up to Hard Feelings finds these guys focusing their energy rather than reinventing it. There's an inherent and alluring drama to the blasting guitars and crashing drums of "Wallflower" or "Graves" or "Recovery", while other songs like "Kaleidoscopes" and "Devil's Advocate" speed forward with a bright propulsion. The band is at its best when the volume is at 11, churning out thick beds of power chords. The songs sound exposed, and Joyce's vocals -- obsessed with isolation, regret, even death -- are equally vulnerable. That vulnerability can push too far, like when Joyce claims he keeps to himself "like a closed-casket funeral" on acoustic number "Montreal". In moments like this, Joyce's lyrics force emotion that the music effortlessly delivers. When they let the music carry the day, Major League is a volatile act with a subtle streak. If the lyrics can catch up to the tunes, the band will be tough to ignore.