Major League – Hard Feelings (2012)

Over the last year, New Jersey’s DIY pop punk band Major League has proved to be one of the most hard working bands in the pop punk community. After releasing two EPs, two singles (“Some Kids Can’t Hang” and “This Holiday”), and a split with New York’s Giants At Large, it was time for the band to create their first full length entitled Hard Feelings. After joining forces with No Sleep Records and releasing the first single “Walk Away”, the street date was set for November 13th, 2012.

The album opens with “Hard Feelings”, a track that could have appeared in an early Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. This style is definitely something new for the band, nothing groundbreaking, but they pull off this skate punk sound very well. After “Hard Feelings”, you’re thrown directly into the lead single, “Walk Away”. The chorus to this song is undeniably catchy. It’s one of those choruses that will get drilled in your brain directly after you hear it for the first time. Track three is “Twenty Seven”, keeping the incredibly catchy guitar riffs going as soon as it starts. Anyone who has had a good long-term friend can relate to this song. 

Up next is “Nightmares”, a longer song then what people might expect from Major League, coming just shy of four and a half minutes. “Nightmares” proves that this band has a ton of talent for anyone who doubted that before. This song has a lot to offer and is definitely one of the best songs on the album structure-wise. “Nightmares” is followed up by “Arrows Crossed” which brings you back to the pop punk vibe that was displayed with “Walk Away”. Anyone who is familiar with the Giants At Large song “Timebomb” will get a nice little surprise from this song, especially towards the end when “Arrows Crossed” goes out with a group-vocal driven bang. Continuing with the fast punk sounds is “Landslide”. Another song with a very memorable, lead riff.

Slowing things down a bit, “Because Heaven Knows” starts with a very promising drum intro, followed by the rest of band joining in shortly after. This song shows off the deeper, lyrical side of Major League. One very noticeable lyric from this track is, “And if I could speak to God, I’d give him hell/Like the kind he put in your life”. This is going to very relatable to anyone who has had someone close to them going through any sort of life struggle. After “Because Heaven Knows”, the pace is picked right back up again by “Pull Me Out”. The way the instruments play off each other in this song shows that Major League has grown drastically as a band over the last year. I’ve noticed in their past work the instruments tended to just blend together to make one big sound, but when it comes to Hard Feelings every instrument seems to have equal input into each song.

Proving my last statement in a very, very new way is “Home Wrecker”. This is the band’s best song to date. Every thing about this track just sounds massive. “Home Wrecker” is one of those songs where you can feel emotion being poured out into every note. The album closer appropriately entitled “Final Thoughts” gives the chorus of “Walk Away” a run for its money. The vocal patterns and harmonies in this track are extremely catchy. Also, once again, the instrumental work shows the band is headed down a whole new path.

Overall Hard Feelings is going to be one of those albums that gets better every listen. You’ll have a hard time straying away from it if you’re a fan of the genre. Major League definitely seems to have found their comfort zone with this record. Judging by this album alone, they have an extremely bright future ahead of them. You can for sure expect Major League to be doing big things in 2013. Hard Feelings is nothing reinventing, but it’s Major League doing Major League better than they’ve ever done before.

The only thing that I wish would have been done differently with this release is more backing vocals like the band had on “Some Kids Just Can’t Hang”. I feel that those vocals added a nice edge to the band, and set them apart from the other bands in pop punk that only stick to one vocalist. The other thing is that on some songs the vocals sound a little low, other than that this release is a great step forward for the band. Anyone who is a fan of the genre or the band’s prior work should definitely check out Hard Feelings.

Links: Facebook

By Zack Lloyd ~ Me Gusta Reviews