This week’s album is Modest Mouse’s This Is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About.
Now, for the sake of disclosure, I didn’t buy this album when it was first released. I actually just picked it up last year. However, I picked it up at the same time that I copped all the Death Cab for Cutie albums, which quickly went into heavy rotation. Thus, this album didn’t get the proper attention it deserved.
It’s kind of hard for me to put the album within the context of the era it was recorded because back in 1996 I was pretty much strictly a hip-hop dude. But as a guy who has really appreciated Modest Mouse’s last few offerings it’s nice to get an idea of how they started out.
This is very much a “first album”. The production on the album isn’t nearly as lush as with their recent albums, but Isaac Brock’s lyrical tone is clearly a mainstay. Apparently Brock’s not really an optimist and never was.
Still manages to set a mood, though. It’s raw and fierce and even when the band sounds like they’re jamming, it still rocks. It’s an unpolished album and in many ways it’s probably their purest offering. So even though I doubt anyone would suggest that Modest Mouse “sold out” it’s kind of cool to hear them back when they had fewer demands and expectations. Plus it really shows how the band has managed to keep things consistent while avoiding getting in a rut.