Modest Mouse brings a different sound to each song, and, sometimes, there are several sounds within the same song. It is often hard to categorize Indie groups like Modest Mouse, but one thing can certainly be said: they are never boring. Whether you enjoy the music, the lyrics or nothing at all, it will at least be interesting.
The band began in 1993 as a trio, and has remained such with the third leg changing periodically. Isaac Brock and Jeremiah Green have formed the kernel of the band over the years, with others coming and going. There is a long list. Currently, Tom Pelosi has joined Brock and Green, and he adds a real dimension to the music. He is a multi-talented instrumentalist whose work can be heard in songs on the, “We Were Dead before the Ship Even Sank” album. The variety of sounds present in some of the instrumentation of this album is fresh and real.
10. “Bury Me with It” sounds like a bunch of drunken, brawling pirates. Of course, it is interesting, as promised. At least you can understand a few of the lyrics.
9. “Ocean Breathes Salty” doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, which does not disqualify it as an Indy hit, of course. Here are some of the chorus lyrics which are paired in the video with a child burying a dead crow.
The ocean breathes salty, won't you carry it in?
In your head, in your mouth, in your soul.
The more we move ahead the more we're stuck in rewind.
Well I don't mind. I don't mind.
8. “Dashboard” is not much without the seafaring video that accompanies it. The music is choppy, and the vocals are unintelligible. It does have a snappy beat!
7. “Dramamine” kind of puts you to sleep! It almost appears to be just noise until an amazing guitar section comes on. It almost sounds like rolling finger picking on an electric guitar. Not a sing-along, but worth a listen just for the guitar.
6. “Out of Gas” This sounds like some kids in a garage band. The lyrics, however, are interesting and well-penned: “Opinions were like kittens, I was giving 'em away” You keep waiting on the dad to knock on the garage door and say to turn it down.
5. “The Whale Song” starts out sounding like an old warped LP album. Within a few seconds in, the listener recognizes the wavering tones are whale-like in a digitized way. The song is mainly an instrumental with an interlude of vocals that are as odd as the music. The first half is bizarre, but very interesting. It becomes tiresome around half-way through, but the video is mesmerizing in an undersea type of way.
4. “Truckers Atlas” shows some amazing talent on the drums. It never lets up. The vocals are border-line amateurish, which may be what they are going for. It should have just been a drum solo.
3. “Float On” is one of the most popular songs across a broad spectrum of music fans. It has a catchy tune in an Indy sort of way. Can you hear Mick Jagger in there?
2. “World at Large” is a little “sing-songy” in a really nice kind of way. It’s soft with a simple melody, then, the bop-bop-bopping starts. It fits at first, until, like all good things, you can get way too much of it. This one has some vocals that are a dead ringer for Mott the Hoople.
1. “Missed the Boat” is Modest Mouse at its finest. With spunky instrumentation, even the vocals are a change from the normal. The vocals travel from quirky to very full with some new harmony. This one is a must-listen. Sometimes our ears crave something really different; this is it.
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