Friday, September 11, 2009

No One's First and You're Next

My personal feelings about Modest Mouse have, um, evolved over the years. From full-blown obsession to nostalgic afterthought, I will always have a soft spot for this band. When lead singer Isaac Brock is at his best, few are better. Their latest album is actually a collection of B sides, singles, archives etc. Most have been released previously, but they are compiled here. As with Everywhere and His Nasty Parlor Tricks and Building Nothing out of Something, these B sides are naturally pretty scattershot and that translates into some album ADD. I still maintain Everywhere and His Nasty Parlor Tricks is some of the best 40 minutes on record, but this one is more clearly a compilation of left overs.

The first track, Satellite Skin, is straight from the We Were Dead era of bigger, slicker sound/production and layered harmonies. Radio-friendly and a little more market savvy, it's good but it's hardly where Modest Mouse began. But there are some throwbacks on here - namely Guilty Cocker Spaniels and the Whale Song with some serious meandering guitar and Brock's notorious lyricism. They get back to some of those southern, countrified tunes as well (see: Perpetual Motion Machine). All in all, it's a solid effort from a solid band, but not a standout. If you're a fan, there are a few that are surely worth hanging onto. For people who simply don't care, this probably won't change your mind.



lerrnst said...

knew your blog through blog of note, it's a good place to come and listen your selection. thanks

Raoul Duke said...

Does this have the song with the music video Heath Ledger directed?

Brynna said...

yeah - king rat.