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Brand New, Modern Baseball and Front Bottoms heading to Coliseum


Pop punk bands The Front Bottoms, Modern Baseball and Brand New are making El Paso the second stop of their international tour at the County Coliseum at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 3, allowing concert-goers to relive their teenage angst and young-love heartbreak.

Despite the furiously high tempos and energetic guitar playing, these bands all share a common attention to lyrics. Friendships, romances and struggles with identity are usually these bands’ focus, and are treated as deeply personal and real problems with such flare that one could make the claim that some bits are poetry.

Brand New’s main appeal is their use of the second person. For every accusation, lead singer Jesse Lacey fires straight shots to his subject, allowing listeners to point their fingers at their own betrayers and failed loves.

‘Last Chance to Lose Your Keys’ is a song that speaks to anyone who has had an unrequited love, but it is a downright anthem for anyone who has had an unrequited love that kept him or her on the hook. You know, that person that gives you just enough attention to set your systems on fire, but not much else?

“It’s girls like you that make my think I’m better off at home on a Saturday night with all my doors locked up tight.”

‘Seventy Times Seven,” from the “Your Favorite Weapon” album is a reference to a Bible verse on forgiveness, but the song is not actually about forgiving a girl. Rather, it is Lacey’s condemnation of his best friend, John Nolan of Taking Back Sunday, for fooling around with his girlfriend behind his back.

The song is dripping with resentment as Lacey sings with acid on his lips. It is straightforward punk rock with driving guitars and drums, but it isn’t until the break when Lacey reveals his lyrical potential.

“So, is that what you call a getaway? Tell me what you got away with. Cause I’ve seen more spine in jellyfish. I’ve seen more guts in 11-year-old kids. Have another drink and drive yourself home. I hope there’s ice on all the roads. And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt, and again when your head goes through the windshield. And is that what you call tact? You’re as subtle as a brick in the small of my back. So let’s end this call, and end this conversation.”

The great thing about this song is the unchecked rage and reckless wishful thinking. It is awful to think these things about anybody, but no one can deny that these thoughts pop into their heads, if only for a fraction of a second.

Modern Baseball may be just another punk band, but what makes them a punk band worth listening to is that the band members are so uncool it’s cool. They are unashamedly geeky, which is refreshing since a lot of their subject matter revolves around being insecure and awkward and attractive rock gods can’t sell that so well (looking at you Tay).

Modern Baseball is big on sound explosions, letting the music die out to silence before jamming out the chorus. Lead singers Brendan Lukens and Jake Ewald experiment with accented syllables to fit the melody, a method that doesn’t detract from their music.

Call your best friend and tell him to listen to “The Weekend.” The lyrics summarize much of what adolescence is like: seeing a lot of people, saying hi to a lot of people, but maybe getting along with only a few of them. This song is a celebration for the friends you can just hang with and be kids.

“Though the white jacket didn’t fit, the friends I came with fit perfectly snugged right to my body like sad movies and late night drinks.” They aren’t complicated lyrics, but the way the band sings in unison to them kind of melts your heart. “You got a smile that could light this town and we might need it ‘cause it gets dark around here, real dark around here. Most of my old friends I can only stand for the weekend, but that doesn’t apply here.”

“The Waterboy Returns” is a song that flexes the honesty Modern Baseball can have with a subject, especially when the subject is personal. The lyrics read like a letter Lukens wrote to himself, speaking to a Brendan who is dealing with suicidal thoughts. “Hey you, that’s no way out. You can’t find help in a bottle or a cut. They’ll choose the wrong way to remember you. They’ll find the wrong words to say.”

In a strange moment, Lukens makes his past self and the listener see the camaraderie that comes with loneliness. In a way, loneliness is what connects the lonely.

“It’s fun to be all talk, but I won’t be here forever. Rough time to be a lost soul I’m sure, but we feel the same.”

Contrasting sharply with Modern Baseball, The Front Bottoms take a wild approach to their lyrics. Most of their songs are smart-assed, sassy and downright strange, going so far as to talk about spiders in their pocket and plastic flowers.

They can get cute, however, as songs like “12 Feet Deep” symbolize a crush to drowning. “Cause you are water 12 feet deep, and I am boots made of concrete. We’ll wear cool clothes that show some skin, flash our fakes so we’ll both get in. Now we’re dancing, we are so drunk, I am so cool, we are so punk.”

The song is about young, reckless love. It’s straightforward, much like the early relationships one might have kind that barrels into a heartbreak you didn’t see coming.

One of the sweetest lines in their discography occurs in the same song, following the uninhibited decisions that young love can induce. “Since when did ‘I wanna hear your voice’ not become a good excuse to call you at three in the morning, laugh at sleep that we’ll both lose.” Most of The Front Bottoms’ music is a reminder of how easy love can be sometimes.

Doors open at 7:30 on Thursday. Tickets can be bought at any online website including Ticketmaster and Stubhu

b.Tickets for the Nov. 3rd concert can be purchased at most online ticket vendors. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Andres Gallegos may be reached at [email protected].

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Brand New, Modern Baseball and Front Bottoms heading to Coliseum