By James Olson
In their first ever appearance in the LP Major Leagues, scrappy underdogs the Isotopes prove they’re contenders with hit after hit of fast and fun rock numbers. Vancouver’s premier baseball punk act lends itself too easily to a review filled with awful puns about the sport that this reviewer is more than willing to oblige.
With tongue firmly planted in chew-filled cheek, the six-piece sluggers take a bat to performance-enhancing drugs on “Total Juicehead” and the infamous career of one Alex Rodriguez with “Hasta La Vista, Baby.” Drawing from the more freewheeling, sunny stylings of So-Cal ‘90s punk acts like Pennywise, Rancid, and early Green Day, Isotopes bring a fun loving smirk and a lot of attitude to the plate. The MC’s introduction of the players to a chorus of boos on “Never Been Caught” is snarky and sassy setting the Isotopes up as more of the Bad News Bears type than the New York Yankees.
The eighth and ninth innings on Nuclear Strikezone are thus far Isotopes’ strongest plays. “Ballad of Rey Ordonez” is an obscure yet entertaining tale of the Cuban player who would enjoy modest success with the Mets before leaving the team out of frustration with the fans, only to eventually return a hero to his homeland. The trials of the road trip are explored on the shimmering “Night Bus Home To You” as Isotopes briefly expose their more sensitive side.
Isotopes hit a home run with Nuclear Strikezone. Who knows what mischief the boys will get up to next season.Nuclear Strikezone, The Isotopes