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Modest Mouse: Rock’s Don Delillo

Posted by April 5th, 2004 No Comments »

Modest Mouse:  Ashworth was right all all along.Album Preview – Modest Mouse
Good News for People Who Love Bad News
Sony Records
By Gabe Baker, Esquire

If you’re reading this, you’re probably planning on grabbing a copy of Good News for People Who Love Bad News as soon as it hits the shelves. That is, if you haven’t already downloaded an advance copy. You don’t need me to tell you to buy the album, so hopefully I’ll just whet your appetite.

Modest Mouse is rock’s Don DeLillo. Good News is a broadcast from a left of the dial pirate station, hinting at subterranean connections. The album may or may not be about losing the plot. With its repetitions and patterns, it hints at the true things behind the shadows and movements glimpsed at the edge of our field of vision. Starting with the title brainteaser (is the “news” good or bad?) Good News references all your favorites without ever sounding like anything but Modest Mouse. There is nothing more delightful than a great new album from a great band that sounds just like themselves except totally different. Enjoy.

Modest Mouse:  Ashworth was right all all along.Album Preview – Modest Mouse
Good News for People Who Love Bad News
Sony Records
By Gabe Baker, Esquire

If you’re reading this, you’re probably planning on grabbing a copy of Good News for People Who Love Bad News as soon as it hits the shelves. That is, if you haven’t already downloaded an advance copy. You don’t need me to tell you to buy the album, so hopefully I’ll just whet your appetite.

Modest Mouse is rock’s Don DeLillo. Good News is a broadcast from a left of the dial pirate station, hinting at subterranean connections. The album may or may not be about losing the plot. With its repetitions and patterns, it hints at the true things behind the shadows and movements glimpsed at the edge of our field of vision. Starting with the title brainteaser (is the “news” good or bad?) Good News references all your favorites without ever sounding like anything but Modest Mouse. There is nothing more delightful than a great new album from a great band that sounds just like themselves except totally different. Enjoy.

Horn Intro – World at Large
Good News kicks off with a slice of Lou Reed whitey soul with a “bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bah” backing vocal to die for.

“I like songs about drifters/books about the same/ don’t know why they just make me feel a bit less insane”

Float On
A giant gentle anthem, “Float On” is like “Eye of the Tiger” for the indie nation. Brit-pop grandeur without the pomp, this track is a shoe-in for the most inspirational award.

“a fake jewelmaker took every last dime with that scam/it was worth it just to learn some sleight of hand”

The Ocean Breathes Salty
The chorus is pissed, sarcastic and dramatic like prime Zevon.

“you wasted life/why wouldn’t you waste the afterlife”
“well that is that and this is this/you tell me what you want and I’ll tell you what you get/you get away from me”
“well you tell me what you saw/ and I’ll tell you what you missed”

Bury Me With It
Pixies bass on the verses, chopped up metal guitar on breaks.

“god I love that rock n roll”
“the point was fast but it was too blunt to miss/life handed us a paycheck we said, “we worked harder than this!””

Dance Hall
An Iggy stomp that makes me want to punch nards.

Bukowski
A Waits waltz, and one of the album’s masterpieces.

“woke up this morning seems to me/that every night turns out to be/a little bit more like bukowski/and yeah I know he’s a pretty good read/but god who’d want to be/god who’d want to be such an asshole”
“if god takes life he’s an indian giver”
“nine times out of ten our hearts just get dissolved”
“one time out of ten everything is perfect for us all”

The Devil’s Work Day
A classic Nick Cave death march with fucking horns that makes me want to hide under covers until the bad man goes away.

“I could hang myself for treason/well I am my own damn god”

The View
A Hot Hot Hot-era Cure guitar/synth assshaker.

“if it takes shit to make bliss/well, I feel pretty blissfully”
“if life’s not beautiful without any pain/well I’d just rather never ever see beauty again”
“we are fixed right where we stand”

Satin In A Coffin
Rips off the ominous beat from one of the Doors’ absolute best, Five To One while channeling the original’s aggression. Makes me want to paint my face with the blood of a martyr and march naked around Pacific Place.

“you said “do you believe what you’re saying?”/”yeah right now but not that often””

Eric’s Interlude
Lead vocal is a baby’s beautiful cries, so so pretty and sweet. What is baby saying to me? What does it know that I don’t?

Blame It On The Tetons
Never thought I’d see the day when Modest Mouse would do a wistful Neil Young-style piano/fiddle ballad better than old Neil himself.

“blame it all on me cause god I need a cold one now”
“language is the liquid that we’re all dissolved in/great for solving problems after it creates a problem”
“Everyone’s a building burning/with no one to put the fire out”

Black Cadillacs
It’s a Clash anthem that bounces along until Brock gives you chills with his voice crack on “everything’s all right right right”.

“and its true we named our children after towns that we’d never been to”
“so pleased with ourselves for using so many verbs and nouns/but we were all still just dumb dumb dumber than the dirt dirt dirt on the ground”

One Chance
The duel vocals (one angry, one crooning) on the chorus kill.

“my friends my habits my family/mean so much to me/I just don’t think that it’s right”

The Good Times Are Killing Me
Brock’s falsetto is indescribable crooning for the 21st century with a chorus that is pretty and jaded like Pulp. Is Brock aging at an unnatural rate? No one should be able to write such a wistful retrospective on lost youth before age 30.

“jaws clenched tight we talked all night oh but what the hell did we say?”


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