Modest Mouse Building Something Out of Nothing

Building Something Out of Nothing represents one last bit of indie rock housekeeping before Modest Mouse gears up for its stab at major label glory with Epic later this year. An odds-and-sods collection of the some of the band's stray singles and bonus tracks, the new disc presents a strong case for the band’s position as one of America's finest guitar bands. Building Something Out of Nothing disguises its origin as a compilation record, if only because Modest Mouse has created a signature sound for itself during the past five years. Combing a Pixies-esque raw power and gonzo lyrics with more off-kilter and textural song arrangements, the band turns its wonky worldview into twisted rock and roll vignettes. Singer Isaac Brock has a couple of favourite lyrical themes — being lonesome in a crowd and the drudgery of long distance travel rank high on the list — and uses repetition to drive his point home, while stoking the musical fire. "A Life Of Arctic Sounds" builds from "100 miles is a long drive in a car" in increments of hundreds until Brock is barely holding onto his mind. Despite the endless reiteration, the music keeps the song sounding fresh and engaging. The whole album is a quiet marvel worthy of repeated listening. (Up)