Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Minor Leagues Are Back

Some time ago, about two years three months to be precise we posted about The Minor Leagues. A lot has happened since that post eons ago. This is what we said then… Ben Walpole wishes he were British, fronting Pulp in 1995. Patrick Helmes wishes he were playing lead for Megadeth in 1988. But cruel fate has instead placed them both in the Minor Leagues, playing insidiously catchy indiepop for most of the last decade from their Cincinnati, Ohio homebase.

Since that time the band has been busy but has apparently forgotten to let us know. So while we’ve been wondering like a lonely parent, the band has been touring, recording, having fun and not letting us share in the joy. Until now. Guess who just happened to pop up in our in box. The Minor Leagues. And believe it or not, they’ve not gone Major. They’ve kept it real and kept that strange amalgamation of darkness and light going and recorded another album.

North College Hill is the new album from The Minor Leagues, the latest in a string of releases from the Cincinnati seven-piece to pair stinging melancholy with insidiously catchy melodies. The Leagues' last two records covered the end of a relationship and the end of the world in overblown concept-album fashion, and this new album continues the streak with ten songs of bittersweet rust-pop about North College Hill, lead singer Ben Walpole's crumbling Midwestern hometown. The band paints a baroque portrait of the neighborhood-as-history, detailing childhood memories in a faded palette of strings, bells, and guitar jangle.

Download: Ghost Maps
Download: Please Don't Throw My Love Away
Download: Secret Codes

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