Tuesday, February 07, 2006
When I speak to people about Modest Mouse being my favorite band, they probably think Good News for People Who Like Bad News. This is unfortunate.

Perhaps too many bands are known best by their sell-out albums. Modest Mouse is certainly one of those bands. I do love the sell-out album, but more because I hear through the strong beat to the meta-lyrics explaining why they have sold out. This review isn't about that though. I'm reviewing one of their first albums, Sad Sappy Sucker.

Sad Sappy Sucker is a short 24-track album. Many of the songs are only 30 seconds long and were recorded on answering machines. This is a young, idealistic, happy, silly and wonderful Modest Mouse. Strange sounds and singing styles surround Sad Sappy Sucker songs. About half the album is melodic songs with lyrics for which you might have to develop a taste and most of that half is near the beginning because the songs towards the end could scare off new listeners. For example, track 20 ("Sucker Bet") is mostly a kazoo sound and then scratchy noises that remind me of a when my guitar patch cord has an open tear. You might skip that track every time for awhile, but you can grow to love it. I can sing along with the static.

The album starts with a contagious guitar riff and nice drums on "Birds Vs Worms." The lyrics explain the metaphor and it ends much how it began. Track 3 ("Wagon Ride Return") introduces the listener to the short and simple songs they'll hear towards the end of the album. It's 48 seconds are filled with a 4 note guitar riff and 22 words of lyrics. Track 4 ("Classy Plastic Lumber") is a great model for the album as it includes a little of both types of songs. Some other favorites of mine are "Mice Eat Cheese", "5-4-3-2-1 Lisp Off" and "Swy."

I'd highly recommend getting your hands on all the songs in the album. I'd also recommend going to www.knerd.com/~bwillen to check out the lyrics of the songs.Damn that one's gonna suck.to check out the lyrics of the songs.

"Damn that one's gonna suck."

[mp3] Classy Plastic Lumber

Jon Anderson
Contributing Writer


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