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
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
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.