Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
Modest Mouse : London Shepherd's Bush Empire
Vetean US college rock darlings blossom into something altogether more sensitive...
The irony, of course, is that Modest Mouse, Seattle-based stalwarts of the American indie scene, tonight supporting Bright Eyes, are a very beardy sort of band - in the other sense of the word. Mixing sturdy Pixies-style grunge noise with college rock staples - and undoubted forefathers of bands like The Constantines and The Shins - their seventh album 'Good News For People Who Love Bad News' sees the trio hit new strides of art-rock goodness that might as well have 'crossover hit' running all the way through like a stick of rock. After ten years of relative obscurity, Modest Mouse look set to gatecrash the mainstream. On the strength of new single 'Float On', success seems a shoe-in.
Among the old songs (greeted with rapturous applause, declarations of "I love you Isaaaac!" and murmurs of "Why the hell aren't this band the headliners?"), new stuff like 'The World At Large' sounds like The Flaming Lips in a circus tent full of freaks. With fiddles. 'Never Ending Math Equation' from 2000's 'Building Nothing Out Of Something' does a fair enough impression of Bruce Springsteen at boot camp, while singer Isaac Brock himself fluctuates between angry lumberjack and sensitive drawler.
It's a fortuitous time for Modest Mouse to come back with their strongest material yet - in the wake of, say, the Pixies' reunion, songs such as the Iggy Pop-aping 'Black Cadillac' will go down well with with plaid-clad early-'90s nostalgia fans. These mice are about to roar.
The Cavan teenagers attack album two with abandon, largely at the expense of quality
A still-vital John Lydon rages towards retirement on a saucy, scuzzy new album
10 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (26/8/2015)
Oxford's finest flit between gnarly rock and frustrating slickness on an often-brilliant fourth album