Isaac Brock’s voice will always hit me, somewhere, in the heart. Modest Mouse have been one of my favorite bands since 1997 or so - I have a lot of memories wrapped up around them.
I hadn’t listened to them much since their last album (“Dashboard” is not the best song, but others are good. The “Little Motel” video, which reminds me of the film Keane, is perfect and heartbreaking. Save the 20 seconds of car commercial in the middle) but their new EP of b-sides and rarities reminded me of how much I love them, of what role they play in my life.
I want to think more and write more about what Isaac Brock gets done in this band in the future, but for now, let’s keep it short. He’s a hell of a writer. There’s an actual milleu in Modest Mouse songs. You get the idea these guys have been poor, have lived shitty lives (well, they’re better now), have seen some stuff. Be it the music or the words or Brock’s cute, lispy, occasionally muppet-y voice. One sample lyric from “King Rat,” (and Heath Ledger’s video accomplishes the task of making you like the good song even better with the striking images…) “We laughed about paying rent/cuz’ the county jails they’re free.” Succinct, humorous, sharp. I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept on keeping on, Brock becoming an elder-man Tom Waits status of sorts. I’d be really happy if they did.