Modest Mouse, the hard-rocking and edgy foursome led by singer/songwriter Isaac Brock, has been turning out hits in their signature key of indie rock for more than 20 years now. But that longevity isn't due to some immense and weighty catalog of veritable songs; rather, it's due largely in part to the band's confidence in their sparse but quality-driven output.
Formed back in 1993 in Kurt Cobain's backyard of Issaquah, Washington, Modest Mouse took their name from a quant Virginia Woolf story, though the group's music should be considered anything but modest. Distortion-driven guitars and a slew of rock instruments force the sound off of the record in a raw, unconfined fashion, while Brock's vocals can only be summarized as being part heady/part manic. Don't get confused, though; while Brock's lyrics may sound like their being spit out at an impromptu pace, there's actually quite a method to this madness.
After the commercial success of their first hit song "Float On" from their breakout record Good News for People Who Love Bad News in 2004, Modest Mouse fans started popping up through the woodwork to eagerly buy up the band's back catalog of records only to find that there was little to be found. Despite having been together for over 10 years at that point, Modest Mouse only had three other releases, including This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About (1996), The Lonesome Crowded West (1997), and The Moon & Antartica (2000).
At a time when indie rock bands were churning out a new record each year, Modest Mouse and leader Isaac Brock were content to let their creativity adhere to a more natural pace, opting only to release new music when they seemed to feel like it was ready. Fans of the group would wait another three years before We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank would be released in 2007. And since that time, no new commercial releases have been seen by way of Modest Mouse, but the band has sometimes played new songs at live shows and rumors of guest musicians joining them in the studio to record tracks for a new album have been peppered about throughout the last few years.
It's been over 10 years since Modest Mouse released their breakout hit record and single and in the time since, only one new offering has shown up. Fans have clamored for more, but Brock has been content to let his creativity take root to produce some of indie rock's most fruitful sounds. In an email to their fans, the group's record label Glacial Pace addressed the large time gap between albums by mentioning that it was no accident that Brock named the label "Glacial Pace".
The good news (for people who like Modest Mouse news) is that the band has been back touring the United States and Canada recently throughout 2014 and rumors are now at a fever-pitch concerning the group's new album, which many hope will see the light of day sometime this year. Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic revealed back in September of 2013 that he played a track on one of the album's new songs, stating that, "It's pretty edgy. I've got my big Gibson bass and a Rat distortion pedal busting out a... this bass riff."
Even for rock royalty, it can be hard to put the group's sound into words, but one thing is for sure: Whenever Isaac Brock and the band release a new Modest Mouse record, you can bet it will be well worth the long wait.
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