It’s been a minute since we’ve visited Seattle. Isaac Brock was working in Issaquah, a suburb of Seattle, where he found little difficulty finding drummer Jeremiah Green and bassist Eric Judy in Seattle’s petri dish of developing musicians. A lot happened before 1996’s This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About, which was the group’s first full record put out by Up Records. Before this, different EPs and Singles were put out by local K Records and Sub Pop. The band’s second release on Up was Interstate 8 followed by another full album, The Lonesome Crowded West, before The Fruit That Ate Itself. While recording studio albums, the group put out many EPs and Compilation albums on Up and K records. Joining Epic Records before their 2000 album, The Moon and Antarctica, this album would see the group’s best critical reception. All their previous success would be overshadowed by their next album in 2004.
A long, epic, 16-track-long album is a feat for any band, but Modest Mouse is used to giving their listeners a little extra. The best way to think about this album is in three parts. From “Horn Intro” to “Ocean Breathes Salty” you have the poppy, light, joyful songs that the radios love. Beyond that, these songs are mostly happy. “Dig Your Grave” to “Satin in a Coffin” talk about life through a more nihilistic viewpoint, culminating in “Bukowski”, a song about the famed author and poet who was deeply connected to nihilism. “Interlude (Milo)” to the end of the album all mostly fit the themes of the beginning but seem to offer more resolution for the listener. Maybe everything isn’t so bad. Enjoy life while you got it. Everyone and their dog has heard the album’s lead single “Float On” and for good reason. It is the happy pick-me-up song 2004 loved. This single brought the album to best album of the year by Planet Sound, a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album, and was Certified Platinum within 6 months of its release.
Any Double EP is double the fun. The Jacket is a single sleeve (which may consider it a box set but who cares) and contains two decorated inner sleeves with a pastel gas mask made up my both sleeves. The Vinyl has labels on both that have all the track listings and seem to spiral in or out, however you look at it. It makes a good compromise between creative design and staying true to the basics of an album. Going for $35 nearly everywhere I look, If you are caught with this in your collection, you’re either a true fan and appreciate the art, or a poser going for cred. Let’s say like Yeezys or Supreme clothing. Regardless of your lifestyle, this is a near fundamental record to own.