The Isotopes blend punk and baseball
April, 15, 2012
By Mike Trask | Special to ESPN.com
The Sex Pistols challenged authority. The Ramones mastered the three-chord song. Bad Religion wrote lyrics related to social responsibility.
The Isotopes Punk Rock Baseball Club sings about baseball. And baseball players. They call themselves "the world's greatest baseball punk band."
Sample lyrics from "Operation: Vamos" addresses the kidnapping of Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos:
"A Venezuelan Holiday
They're gonna take that kid away
Target: Wilson Ramos"
It's one of the newest tunes from the band also responsible for "Ballad of Rey Ordonez" and "Curse of Jim Eisenreich."
"I've played baseball every season since I was 3 years old and as experienced as I am at picking up chicks, getting my heart broken and vice versa, I'm 10 times more experienced at fielding grounders and hockin' loogs," said lead singer Evan October (real name: Evan Wansbrough).
The band splits its time between Louisville, Ky., and Vancouver, British Columbia, where October grew up playing middle infield for the North Shore Twins, a league for elite high school-age players.
"The Twins were also in the same league as Adam Loewen and I had to face him a couple times, with no particular success," said October, 27.
The band has been playing since 2006 and put out its first album on Red Scare Industries in 2009. But the boys still find time for bar-league ball, where October generates ideas for songs like "Suicide Squeeze":
"We're tied and it is getting late
We'll manufacture our own fate
They won't believe we did it
First move and I'm committed"
But they'll even delve into the rules. Sample lyrics from "Rule 21," a song named after the MLB misconduct rule:
"I've been erased
A black bar across my name, ashamed and disgraced
Nobody will remember me
I've been tossed outta history
I bet and lost a legacy"
The Isotopes Punk Rock Baseball Club has a few tour dates coming up, including an appearance at the well-known Insubordination Festival in Baltimore this summer.
Less exciting for October is the Miami Marlins' new uniforms, which he says are about as punk rock as Justin Bieber.
"The Marlins are going to be a team to watch," he said. "I was behind them for NL wild card last season, but the addition of Reyes and Ozzie guarantees that they'll be in the conversation come October. The new uniforms though ... good lord. The Marlins' new branding is the worst baseball has ever seen."
Check out more Isotopes music at theisotopes.bandcamp.com.