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Modest Mouse — Good News For People Who Love Bad News

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Isaac Brock and the guys are back with a new album released last Tuesday. Fresh off of his solo project Ugly Casanova, Brock seems to be following a much different musical compass. For the longest time I thought that Modest Mouse was just a band that liked to write whiney songs with really long titles just to satisfy Brock’s whims. Casanova was just more of the same. My girlfriend being a huge fan of the band kept trying to tell me I was wrong, but I just could not accept it until now.

Good News For People Who Love Bad News, although keeping with the really long title theme, is a solid, listenable, and dare I say even great album. I was lucky enough to get an early release about four weeks ago and I still can’t get enough. Could this be the year that Modest Mouse breaks? We will have to wait and see. Can this album do it? Yes.

The first single “Float On” is definitely good enough to draw them widespread radio play. A follow up single may be tough to find, but I think they can get some traction. The rest of the album goes back and forth between the driving almost marching-like beat of “Float On” and a more mellow sound. Track 4, “Ocean Breathes Salty”, is one of the more stand out tracks much like “The View” and “The Good Times Are Killing Me”. The middle of the album drags a little but it is bookended by some great tracks. Track 6, “Bury Me With It” and track 8, “Bukowski” are two of my least favorites. Track 7, “Dance Hall”, is different. The driving Ramonesesqe punky beat and raspy lyrics make for an interesting listen.

All in all, this is the best I have heard from Modest Mouse. I would recommend it to anyone who may have found their earlier work too inaccessible but still is a fan of Indie Rock (even though they are on Sony). Don’t be turned off by the possibility of mainstream success, this album is worth owning. Until Next time come visit me In The Congo.

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  • http://www.rockdummy.com Craig Lyndall

    I really like it too. If it weren’t for decency standards, I would like the second single to be the one with the lyrics, “done done done, with the fuck fuck fucking around”

    Not just because of the F-word, but that song is pure unadulterated bounce. Makes my head move.

    Anyway, good review.

  • Tom

    Funny, “Bury me with it,” and “Bukowski” are two of my favorites.

  • brett

    I agree w/ the first post; black cadillacs would make a great single. One chance will probably be their follow-up, though. Creepy as it is, I see MM blowing up big time this summer. It will be strange (different) to have a group whose music I deeply identify with getting serious radio and EmpTV play (already float on is the #1 requested song on y100 phildelphia for this week – 4/12/04).

  • pt

    what’s up with calling God a control freak?

  • http://www.rockdummy.com Craig Lyndall

    This might be the funniest comment ever. What do you think it means?

  • pt

    And that might be the most gullible comment ever.

  • Mike

    I bought this album the day it released, (when I say bought I mean I downloaded it off of Kazaa) and it has been playing in my car ever since. It has a very different feel than any of their old stuff but has such a unique and great sound I can’t stop listening to it. I think the second single besides “float on” has got to be “Ocean Breathes Salty”. It is such an awesome song with pure and amazing lyrics, my earlier belief that Isaac Brock is a genius has definitely been confirmed. AWESOME!

  • http://www.temptationwaits.com visualsimplicity

    I think I’m one of those people that found their previous work to be inaccessible. Just never really got into it. However, I absolutely love their new album. I’ll say that Isaac definitely has an eccentric singing style that requires an acquired taste to enjoy, but I’ll be darned if their new album isn’t filled with great music though (the music music that is).

    Anyway, I think Satin in a Coffin would make a great second single. That or maybe The World at Large (I don’t particularly care much for the chorus of the song, but the lyricless music in the latter part of the song is beautiful).

  • jason

    i am a person that likes there older stuff and the new cds is good but not as good as cds like moon and antarctica, lonsome crowded west building nothing out of something etc. if you would actually listen to bukowski when he say ‘god could be such a contol freak’ he isn”t neccasaryly refering to ‘god; listen to the damn song, oh yea learn song titles its black cadillacs. ugly casanova wasn’t a ‘sol’ project there where many people involed in it, casanova has been around for years. just cause they arn’t scared to make long titles thats no reason to bitch, sad sappy sucker isn’t long, moon and antartica isn’t long, interstate 8 isn;’t long, whenever you see fit isn’t long, fruit that ate itself isn’t long lonsome crowded west isn’t long. im so tired of the new people coming in at the last second saying ‘im a real modest mouse fan’ and they haven’t heard anything other than float on. good for everyone that actually listened to there other stuff your opinion if you don;’t like it, though moon and antartica and lonsome crowded west are the two best cds ever. m&a is a masterpeice nothing will ever be better

  • only me

    Modest Mouse is the only new band I will listen to. They capture the good vibes from the ’60s and ’70s and modernize them. Their rythems are trippy and the lyrics mean something! I dig all the symbolism and irony Brock uses, but I enjoy the music music the most. I’m just waiting until the rest of the world agrees with me.