Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hall of Fame: Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West

** Hall of Fame is where we discuss our favorite albums of all time, they may not be the most critically acclaimed, but they hold a special place in our hearts**

Considered Modest Mouse's breakthrough album and one of the defining albums for indie rock in the 1990's The Lonesome Crowded West is a freneticlly supercharged masterpiece of an album, and is in my opinion the best Modest Mouse record to date. 

From start to finish this record is a swirl of loose-but-tight guitar crunch. Featuring an array of similar sounding yet uniquely dignified tracks. From the sleazy boogie of "Doin' The Cockroach" to the sing along slow-jam of "Polar Opposites" to the fiddle-filled hoedown of "Jesus Christ Was an Only Child," this album covers a lot of terrain. 

What is also intriguing about this record is the way singer/guitarist Isaac Brock works his voice into each song. His voice gels with the guitar riff's so well, it sounds almost like an indie version of scat singing. Though Brock may not have the prettiest sounding voice, he makes it work for the atmosphere of the band and thus it becomes its own instrument. 

However, what I enjoy the most about this album is the majority of these songs are able to get their message across fairly quickly, allowing the last few minutes to be a genuine rock out jam. Thus, The Lonesome Crowded West adopts two ideas, the notion of making a statement and at the same time being able to say "Fuck art, let's dance!" And frankly, there aren't too many albums that are able to do that. 

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