Canadian punk rockers Isotopes aren’t your typical Green Day / Bad Religion mimics. During the early stages of their formation back in 2007, the members were obligated to choose between following a vocation in baseball or music. Isotopes take their own approach and instead, they combine their two passions to establish a unique style and deem themselves as ‘The World’s Greatest Baseball Punk Band’. With an interchangeable group line-up, the team have seen over 40 players pass through their ranks, including Evan October who was detained at the US board back in 2013 and received a five year ban from the states.
Now, the pioneers of the original genre are to release their latest full-length record 1994 World Series Champions, featuring ten tracks of intoxicating punk. The album takes topics from baseball history and similar ball parks, forming a firm temperament that is unwavering throughout their appearances. The album takes the title denoting the year that the World Series was cancelled due to MLB players’ association strikes.
They begin with brief opener What We Do Ain’t Secret, with very appropriate lyrics for the team. From there, they sprint through the additional tracks on the album – each only a short couple of minutes – demonstrating assertive and dynamic tempos from the get go.
Their single Legend of George Brett was made public earlier this year. The track reflects on retired baseball legend George Brett, who played 21 years in Major League Baseball or the Kansas City Royals, the lyrics “This ain’t no pine tar” referring to the controversial event involving an illegal play made by Brett in 1983.
There are plenty of strong influences in their sound, yet they are still able to establish their own unique perspective on what has already been established in the punk genre. Not only do they manage to fabricate their own variety of rock band, but they also correspond to a vast number of welcome bands. Morganna demonstrates influence from older punk examples like Green Day, especially during the opening drum rhythm.
Appealing to baseball fans as well as music fans, Isotopes have a wide spectrum of supporters; you don’t need to just be a sports fan to appreciate their sound. With only a concise twenty minutes running time, the album is over before you know it; each track flows into one another seamlessly as one giant excitable ride. They take no time to stop for a pause, supplying masses of turbo riffs and round-the-clock drum tempos.
Isotopes are up to bat and clearly, they’re on fine form following this release. Comparable to the likes of NOFX, the work from Isotopes can engage to a similar demographic, yet convey a slightly alternate punk sound. They portray a contemporary, party vibe, deviating moderately from traditional vintage punk.
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Words by Jess Boswell
‘1994 World Series Champions’ by Isotopes is released on 13th April on Destiny Records (UK / EU) / Stomp Records (US / CA).