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Modest Mouse - Good news for people who like Float On


Feature: Jack Foley

ISSAQUAH-based indie rock trio, Modest Mouse, may have captured the attentions of Xfm listeners with the release of their current single, Float On, but the band has actually been around for some time.

Formed in 1993, by vocalist/guitarist Isaac Brock, bassist Eric Judy, and drummer Jeremiah Green, the band have developed a cult following in America, and look set to attract a similar fanbase in the UK.

According to various internet biographies, Modest Mouse honed their muscular sound in ‘The Shed’, a makeshift practice space built by Brock on the land next to his mother's trailer.

They then journeyed to Calvin Johnson's Dub Narcotic Studios to cut their 1994 self-titled debut single, which was subsequently released on Johnson's K Records label.

And, as word spread about their music, they were signed to the Up label, from which, in 1996, they put out two albums, This Is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About and Interstate 8.

After returning to K, Modest Mouse released The Fruit That Ate Itself in 1997, but its follow-up, The Lonesome Crowded West, , from later that year, provided the band with its long-anticipated breakthrough, and, in the wake of a major-label bidding war, they signed to Sony.

The label immediately seized upon their talent for blending edgy, high-pitched vocals with catchy guitar hooks, as epitomised by Float On.

Anyone who has become seduced by this track will be pleased to note that, according to Rolling Stone, the band is ‘not afraid to soar from melodic acoustic ballads to screeching digressions that verge on Jam Rock’.

Float On is taken from the band’s recent long-player, Good News for People Who Love Bad News, which is available through…

Also worth checking out, if you are so inclined, is a rarities collection, Building Nothing Out of Something, which appeared on the Up label, in early 2000, and their Epic debut, The Moon & Antarctica.

Lead singer, Brock, may also be known to eagle-eyed alternative fans for his side-project, Ugly Casanova, which spawned the Sharpen Your Teeth release, in 2002.

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