“(Brave New) World Series” — premiering exclusively below from Denver punk group Bud Bronson & the Good Timers’ upcoming sophomore album — does involve baseball’s fall classic. But it’s not about balls, strikes or which teams might meet in a few weeks’ time.
In the song, frontman Brian Beer writes and sings about the current state of the nation, and the world, and his fear of the future coupled with his sorrow that his father, who passed away last year, isn’t around to talk about it. “My dad pretty much spent his adult life rejecting the seriousness and complexity of the world,” Beer tells Billboard. “He was a die-hard New York Mets fan, and baseball was his fantasy world escape. So this song is kind of an ode to that and to a world that seems to be getting smothered by exponentially changing technology.”
Among the inspirations for the track was Beer overhearing his father trying to instruct Amazon’s Alexa to change music stations. “That just felt so anachronistic and weird,” Beer says. “To think about where he started in his life and the world he grew up in versus the world we’re in now…I mean, you never want your dad to die, but it felt fitting he was going to leave this world and won’t have to face all the things I’m petrified of.”
Bud Bronson & the Good Timers’ The Outfield and Outer Space, due out Oct. 12, echoes those serious concerns across its 10 tracks. Using sports terminology as metaphors in several songs, Beer acknowledges that the band’s intent was to engage in “a level of thoughtfulness — which I think is on the first album, but I don’t know if it came across. I think all the surface level references to beer and partying and endless, youthful indulgence might have obscured a bit more of the deeper message.” So he and his three bandmates dug in to make sure there were no such misunderstandings on the new songs.
“We’re asking a lot of big questions,” explains Beer, who turns 30 last year. “As I got older and entered a new decade of my life, the world just felt a little smaller and more closed off, and my possibilities seemed more limited. I think that’s somewhat inevitable as people get older, but of course politics and family developments impact you a little more and make you look at the world a little harder.” And using sports to illustrate the societal divide seemed just as natural for Beer and company.
“The us vs. them mentality…Politics in a lot of ways is a spectator sport now, and you root for your team,” Beer explains. “I have a friend who tells me, ‘We’ll get ’em in the mid-terms!’ There’s this self-righteous indignation you get when your team loses. Everybody’s trading wins and losses, and you hope for progress but it seems like that’s kind of getting obscured by a winning-or-losing mentality.”
The question now, of course, is whether or not Bud Bronson’s audience will accept the change. The Outfield and Outer Space still has plenty of the punky fury and aggressive melodicism of its predecessor, but the lyrical discourse certainly tempers some of the group’s trademark ebullience.
“I have no idea how people will react,” Beer says. “I think people who have maybe a caricatured image of us might not appreciate this that much. I know I’m incredibly proud of this album and I love it. I hope they appreciate the deeper dive into what we think about, and our maturation process. I think a lot of them may be feeling the same way, ’cause they’re getting older, too. We’ll see.”