Brisbane’s Ball Park Music has had a knack of creating top 10 albums over their twelve-year career. But the question remains, will their newest self-titled release reach similar heights? Well, if you ask me, yes, it most definitely will.
The band’s sixth studio release opens with the pre-Covid released single, Spark Up! Unbeknownst at the time to lyricist, vocalist and guitarist Sam Cromack his lyrics of, “Life is short, spark up” would prove to be somewhat foretelling. Regardless, it is a cracker of an album opener channelling the band’s rock tendencies.
Ball Park Music is an album of textured songs that carefreely crosses genres without a hint of concern or offending or alienating listeners. This is a testament to their multi-generational fan base that has amassed over time. Head Like a Sieve, for example, conveys a 60’s sound while Bedroom tackles unadulterated rock, and Kit Kat pure instrumentalism.
The album certainly cannot be accused of being one-note yet the band’s experience and familiarity with each other, plus the lyrical themes of seclusion and exasperation, prevent the album from feeling disjointedly non-cohesive. In fact, when listened to in its entirety, the dramatic arc from rock to dream pop is evident.
Songs such as Nothing Ever Goes My Way and I Feel Nothing express manic angst in such a ferocious manner you are left wondering what the heck is going on. However, they are juxtaposed by the perennially saccharine and gentleness of Bad Taste Blues (Part III), Obit 2020, Day + Age, Turning Zero, and album highlight, the goosebump-inducing Cherub. This juxtaposition forms an aural balance that is as much unexpected as it is pleasurable.
Ball Park Music have not deviated from the norm with their self-titled album, but in a time of such enormous change in the world, this is a good thing. They have always delivered when it matters, and this album is no different. Ball Park Music is sure to get you up and moving. It is sure to be on your high rotation playlist, and it is sure to make its way up into the top ten of the charts like so many of their other albums.
Album Review By Anita Kertes