London Highbury Garage

If eyes truly are the windows to the soul, then tonight we learn nothing about [a]Modest Mouse[/a].

If eyes truly are the windows to the soul, then tonight we learn nothing about Modest Mouse. Their singing guitarist Isaac Brock keeps his firmly screwed shut throughout. Luckily we have his voice to guide us, and that's busy spitting, shouting and murmuring snippets of world-weary bar room philosophy and blue-collar tales of hope, loss and struggling by.

Once hailed as the new Nirvana, thanks primarily to a couple of middling grungey albums and a Seattle zip code, such comparisons now seem rather slight. Their latest album, 'Moon & Antarctica', proves Modest Mouse know about a lot more than just the simple loud/quiet dynamic.

Basing their songs around the simplest of structures, Brock takes a chord and batters it repeatedly until it loops and conforms to whatever shape he chooses. 'I Came As A Rat' or '3rd Planet' veer from almost Smog-like country inflection into bouts of prolonged, lacerating noise and show they're capable of becoming the next American band to burn a hole in our hearts.

Riff chasing has never sounded so much like bruised hypnosis. Modest Mouse are stepping out from the long shadows of Seattle and casting a few of their own.

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