Hardcore Modest Mouse fans, you might roll your eyes but please bear with your AMM host. It’s the truth: There’s catchy, and then there’s the way Modest Mouse does it. Like those first riffs of “Float On” from Good News for People Who Love Bad News (2004), all the way on up to the banger that’s “We Are Between” from 2021’s The Golden Casket. Songwriter/vocalist Isaac Brock owns it like the badass poet he is.
The Moon and Antartica (2000) is a critics’ favorite for sure, but there’s no denying the power and continued relevance of The Lonesome Crowded West (1997), Brock’s damning portrait of the exploited American landscape – a wasteland of closed strip malls being replaced by even more strip malls, natural beauty reduced to something more barren and clinging to existence. But at the core is the desolation of the people, or what Brock has described as the “dehumanization” of America.
The album will be performed in its entirety when Modest Mouse plays tonight, Monday Dec. 5, at ACL Live at The Moody Theater. Doors at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. with Portland, OR electro-experimental band Mattress.