Two albums to listen to: A couple of aggressive and thoughtful releases

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Editor’s note: In this recurring column, music writer Chris Duncan suggests two albums to listen to this week. Have a suggestion? Send a tweet to @chr_dunc, and your pick might appear in next week’s Two Albums To Listen To.

You’re Gonna Miss It All — Modern Baseball

Mislabeling bands is a common occurrence in today’s music scene, with many bands defaulting to an indie label. Pop-rock group Modern Baseball suffers from this trend ­— they were quickly dubbed an emo act after their debut album Sports. On their sophomore effort, You’re Gonna Miss It All, the group attempts to rebuke that genre.

Although Modern Baseball released a professionally produced album just one year after forming, that doesn’t mean their sound is underdeveloped. Their punk influences are glaring with power chords and aggressive lyrics take the forefront on a majority of songs. This, blended with with pop rock, creates a Weezer-esque sound.

You’re Gonna Miss It All’s peppy and upbeat songs are juxtaposed with social commentary, bringing a bitter yet optimistic tone to their music. This album is a short listen but packs a punch in its introspective lyrics and hard-hitting riffs.

Tracks to listen to: “Fine, Great,” “Broken Cash Machine,” “Your Graduation”

 


Through the Trees — The Handsome Family

Husband and wife duo Brett and Rennie Sparks have been formally playing Americana music together since 1993. With their release of Through the Trees five years later, they perfected their alternative country style.

Putting aside their distorted guitars proved to be a great move for this duo. Their first truly raw country endeavor Through the Trees marks a time when the duo’s experimental sound from Milk and Scissors came to fruition. Rennie, the group’s songwriter, weaves dark stories of love and lust for Brett to belt out.

Other great albums followed throughout their career, but their defining moments came on this LP by encapsulating their introspective outlook on the world.

Tracks to listen to: “Weightless Again,” “The Woman Downstairs,” “Last Night I Went Out Walking”