Friday, April 07, 2023

Vista Blue - "Coming Out Swinging"

On its first release of 2023, Vista Blue renews its annual tradition of celebrating the arrival of baseball season. They say everyone's an optimist on opening day, and "Coming Out Swinging" exemplifies that very notion. But there's something more to "Coming Out Swinging" than just the ordinary high hopes of a new season. The team depicted in this song doesn't just believe this will finally be its year — it knows it. It's been through some trying seasons and encountered some bad luck, but now everything is about to change. There's electricity in the air. When you realize your hitting, pitching, and defense are all coming together, you can't wait to get on the field and take on all comers. This song is clearly not about the 2023 Phillies, but it does have me fondly recalling the 2007 Jimmy Rollins–led team that was just one year removed from winning it all. And if you're a Rays fan, you might think the band wrote this song just for you! I love the energy of this song. It's way over on the pop side of the pop-punk spectrum, and the swagger of the lyrics comes off far more joyful than cocky. Featuring a melody you can hum all day and a chorus you won't be able to get out of your head, this is a vintage Vista Blue number in every respect. "Tre' Morgan Hit for the Cycle on Mardi Gras Day" is a factual statement and the virtual B-side to this single. Here the style shifts to lightspeed punk rock. I've decided I should refrain from further comment since I've already jinxed one LSU sports season. 

While any decent fact-checking site can debunk the foul rumor that Vista Blue only writes songs about baseball, I will say that "Coming Out Swinging" is about as perfect of a baseball song as you'll ever hear. It's got a great hook & great lyrics with nary a mention of a "speedball." Any Major League team not playing it in the clubhouse by the Fourth of July deserves to lose. Four months without new music from Vista Blue felt like an eternity, but this new single was worth the wait. Two songs in 134 seconds is a remarkable display of songwriting efficiency. Clearly Mike and Mark are taking this pitch clock thing seriously!

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