Modest Mouse

No One's First And You're Next EP

Written by: TL on 30/08/2009 18:11:37

As is customary here at Rockfreaks, whenever an indie record of some repute appears, it is quickly assigned to yours truly, simply because I apparently am the only one who's expected to know anything about the genre. While such expectations aren't entirely misplaced, I have to admit that my knowledge of who's who in the indie world is somewhat superficial, as proven in the case of this review, as Modest Mouse are just one of those bands that I know the general sound of, while I'm not really familiar with their material beyond a single or two. Nevertheless, they have a new EP out, it's called "Noone's First And You're Next", and here I'm going to share with you my thoughts on it:

First though, if you know even less about MM than I, from what I can tell, this EP is as good a place to start as any, as it accurately represents the band's trademark sound. It's one part quirky indie in the veins of bands like say, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and one part noisy mess hinting slightly of mid-tempo gypsy punk like that played by Against Me! on occasion.

The later of those two comparisons is instantly justified in the first of the eight tracks on this EP, called "Satellite Skin", a quite enjoyable rocker that kicks things off alright. It's followed by "Guilty Cocker Spaniel" that takes care of my other reference, being somewhat more quirky and off-angle and thus seeming parallel to a band like CYHSY. The track floats by enjoyably but with no greater feeling of exhilaration, and the same goes for the banjo accompanied "Autumn Beds". Then however, it's time for the star of this pack, namely "The Whale Song", which features an odd song structure, the first half of it being focused entirely on a wailing riff that does indeed sound like the singing of whales, all the while things build up, and as the vocals kick in, continually reciting "I know I was a scout, I should have found a way out".

Modest Mouse then go on to lash out four more songs, that zig zag between the two styles I've mentioned, adding banjos here and horns there for added oddity, but in all honestly, while it's enjoyable, it's hardly memorable. This is actually the dominating feeling I have about the record overall, with only "The Whale Song" and "Satellite Skin" really 'rockin' anything inside of me. It's cool to give a spin and just sit and listen to, and you won't get bored, but on the other hand, you'll be hard pressed to hum a tune or sing a few lines after it's done. So without further ado, I think I'll just grade this and let it go with a recommendation mostly aimed at MM fans, while indie enthusiasts in general should have other records as higher priorities.

6

Download: The Whale Song, Satellite Skin
For The Fans Of: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, mewithoutYou, Cold War Kids,
Listen: myspace.com/modestmouse

Release Date 04.08.2009
Epic Records

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