Ugly Casanova Sharpen Your Teeth

As legend would have it, Ugly Casanova is a slightly lunatic yet extremely talented singer-songwriter named "Edgar Graham" who stalked Modest Mouse on tour and then one day left his homemade demo tapes on the doorstep of Sub Pop without a trace, the idiot savant never to be heard from again. As reality would have it, Ugly Casanova is Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, Tim Rutili and Brian Deck of Red Red Meat, and a few other backup culprits noodling around in the studio under the guise of this crazed alter-ego. The Casanova persona first appeared on Modest Mouse's spacy The Moon and Antarctica, which, incidentally, Rutili helped produce, and has since evolved into a vessel for Brock's less accessible and slightly grimmer and unnerving output. There's still Brock's weathered drawl and soft moans to complement his trail of folksy and electronic pitter-patter, but something about the arrhythmic, rigid, clattering percussion that (besides reminding of Tom Waits) creates such a taut, tense atmosphere and an uncomfortable listening space quite different than MM. Yet even though Casanova's brand of melancholia is slightly skin crawly and, well, "ugly," it also is mesmerising and draws you back in for more. (Sub Pop)