Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News (Cover Artwork)

Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse: Good News For People Who Love Bad NewsGood News For People Who Love Bad News (2004)
Sony Music

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: gabe_smellsgabe_smells
(others by this writer | submit your own)

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It's nearly impossible to define what makes a road CD a road CD. What makes an album perfect for traversing space in a car, bus, or train? What could possibly link albums like "Let It Bleed," "Blood on the Tracks" "Meiso" By DJ Krush, The Guns ??N Roses live album, and my Skatelites back catalog, if not their ability to not only improve long car rides, but make them seem inviting? I would not have previously put Modest Mouse into this category. Albums like "Lonesome Crowded West," and "The Fruit That Ate Itself" were unquestionable brilliant for the most part, but they were also too fragmented, too varied, and too contradictory to be good driving music. Modest Mouse never was a band that made road CDs.

So I drove over to the local chain merchant today where they were advertising "Good News For People Who Love Bad News" for a measly 7.99, I picked up a copy, argued about the price for 5 minutes with a salesperson who wanted to charge me 13.99, got it for 7.99, and went back to my car to make the 10 minute drive back to my house. Lest to say, that 10 minute drive turned into a near hour-long trek around my home country, from the malls of Paramus to the wannabe skyscrapers of Fort Lee to the industrial wasteland of Ridgefield Park right to the beginning of what could've been a long trek- the starting point of the stretch of highway known as route 80, which traverses the country, east to west. Modest Mouse have released an album that doesn't just "work" while you're driving - it begs to be listened to in the car, with the passing backdrops changing as the resigned and worn out vocals and lyrics of Isaac Brock carry the driver away.

Perhaps this album is different than other Modest Mouse releases because its scope is smaller. The band still genre jumps with ease, from the Tom Waits/Pogues dirge of "The Devil's Workday" to the upfront funk rock of first single, "Float On" to the confessional ballad, "One Chance," but it does it with smoother production, tighter, simpler drumming (thanks to new skinsman Benjamin Weikel), and with an underlying sense of melody. Lyrically, the band revisits the themes of "Polar Opposites'" "I'm trying to drink away the part of the day that I cannot sleep away," on several tracks, including the thoughtful "The World at Large" which contains the brilliant couplet "I like songs about drifters- books about the same. They both seem to help me feel a little less insane." Despite a confidence in the musical composition of this album, the lyrics are still the same off-kilter self deprecation you've come to expect from Brock. The insecurity seeps from the songs, on the repetition of "I don't know" in the glazed over rock "Ocean Breathless Salty" or elsewhere in the plaintive "Blame It On The Tetons" where Brock with its summation of "god, I need a scapegoat now." The songs may be poppier, but that in no way translates to a decrease in quality.

I remember in a review I wrote of Sad Sappy Sucker, an EP the band released a few years ago, that I started the review with a uber-pretentious stream of conscience style passage where no word related to the one before it. I followed it up by saying if you say any unity in it, then you'd probably find some similarity between the bipolar nature of the tracks on the EP. On Good News, thanks in no small part to the production, the album works like a cross country trip, (perhaps a long drive for someone with nothing to think about... get it? Eh, screw off.), with each varying track being a different skyline or exit or main street, a portrait of one of the most unique sounding bands currently making music in America, and the perfect soundtrack to your next car trip.


People who liked this also liked:
Modest Mouse - The Moon and AntarcticaModest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even SankAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitNOFX - The DeclineAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Alkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch FireAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityThe Clash - London Calling

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
RoyalWithCheese (July 17, 2008)

If you don't have it, go buy it!

Anonymous (August 4, 2006)

Archangel told me to say that this record is a craptastic mess.

treos (July 29, 2006)

Decent Cd Some seems kinda bland but im more of a hardcore fan so...what canya do.

klonny (January 9, 2006)

Anyone who says Dance Hall sucks seriously needs to get a checkup.
That's one of the best songs I've ever heard, and definitely my favorite Modest Mouse song I heard.

Good album, but I think I liked Moon/Antarctica more.

Anonymous (December 31, 2004)

Oh Gabe, "Sad Sappy Sucker" wasn't the Ep they released a year or two back. "everywhere and his nasty parlor tricks" was the ep. Not sure which you were refering to. "sucker" was actually their first album that was either re-released or released for the first time, I dont remember.

Anonymous (December 31, 2004)

I would say that I partially agree with you about Modest Mouse's previous works having the scattered feel. But I think most Mouse fans would say that their albums make for excellent driving music. You just have to change cds about half-way through the album. Modest mouse is my all-time favorite driving music, but sometimes I can't sit through an entire album on the road. You can say that "Good News" makes for good driving because of the shorter length of songs and album, and the way that the album is structured with upbeat songs consistently throughout the entire listen.

sydslovebuzz (September 20, 2004)

good album, interesting lyrics.. the first time i got it i listened to it about a million times. then i moved on. i lived. i survived. but there theres those times i miss them. i try to have some diversity in my CD player so thats when modest mouse creeps in. but im not dissapointed when i do pop them in. i like the singers voice. so it all depends on my mood. i like black cadilac ..... that is all i have to say on Modest mouse.

Anonymous (July 23, 2004)

"if you think its good, then listen to it

if you don't then don't bitch and complain about it so much "

That's pretty funny...If you don't like the cd...Shut up!! However, if you like it, feel free to discuss it and pump it up as much as desired!!! Moron.

Anonymous (June 16, 2004)

All i can say is that this CD has been in my CD player and discmen since i got it. Just a awesome CD.

musicrazy4evr (June 1, 2004)

it's okay, i mostly like the songs: world at large, one chance, good times r killing me, float on, the view, n ocean breathes salty. even though this is my first cd that i got from modest mouse. i hav a feeling that they made better cd's than this.

Anonymous (April 30, 2004)

who gives a fuck about hype?? if you think its good, then listen to it

if you don't then don't bitch and complain about it so much

i love the bells in "dancehall", its a song that gets better with every listen

this cd is gonna be in the top 10 for the year and its not even nearly their best

Anonymous (April 17, 2004)

And this Dignin kid is out of control. Don't think that by comparing people who don't like a band to nazis is legitimate.

Opinions can NEVER BE WRONG. EVER. Because opinions do not equal fact. You can argue it forever, but there is no way ever....EVER...that opinions can be wrong.


oh and no one go on like "well its Dignin's opinion that opinions can be wrong."

Anonymous (April 17, 2004)

I will now eat my words.

After even more time with this album I found myself popping it in my cd player more and more. Maybe its the warmer weather now or something, but I cant stop listening. I used to only love the first half, now I like nearly all the songs on the cd. And I do find a certain subtle charm in "Dancehall" I dont see why everyone is badmouthing it.

I was wrong, this is a really damn good record.


dignin (April 16, 2004)

so are the nazis right? It could be my opinion that the moon landing was faked, so does that mean I'm right? I must be right if I'm not wrong.

Opinions can be wrong, also opinions can be formed out of ignorance or false information.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

Opinions cannot be wrong. Evetything is subjective.

That being said, I love Modest Mouse.

dignin (April 16, 2004)

its not like modest mouse is a new band that just got thrust into the spotlight. The success their having now is ten years in the making. They've been building a huge underground fanbase for years, and to have a fanbase this big with no help from MTV or the radio just points to how amazing they are. The Moon and Antartica is such a great cd, not many records released in the past four years are better.

And to those who say modest mouse is "overrated" or "mediocre", quess what? Your ignorant and wrong. But of course you'll hide behind that fact that its just your opinion so there is no right or wrong. But I hate to be the one to break to you all but opions CAN BE WRONG. The nazis opinion is that all the worlds problems were caused by Jews, they were wrong. And a lot of the time when opinions are so blatantly wrong its due to ignorance. You see most of you are confused, you think if something that doesn't make you love, you can't possibly understand why someone else would, so you bash and call it it overrated. But maybe its just not you personal aesthetic, theres plenty of bands I don't really like but I can admit they are good and talented. And if you cant see that Issac Brock is a fantastic lyricist and great songwriter all around your ignorant and your opinion is wrong.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

i think hype is when people blow upsomething mediocre at best into this genius new thing. i think modest mouse is gonna be the new "it" band

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

I don't think a commercial equals hype.

Ted_The_Bellhop (April 15, 2004)

The new Modest Mouse cd is really great.

Anonymous (April 15, 2004)

"I've have seen NO "hype" on this record.. none." Said some guy below.

You have to be kidding! i saw a commercial on cartoon network for it.

Anonymous (April 15, 2004)

whatever hipster

dignin (April 15, 2004)

you don't know shit.

Anonymous (April 15, 2004)

"Thats a pretty clever title. i had to read it again in my head before i got how clever it was, but thats just me. i knew i liked this band when i heard "Paper Thin Walls" and how big of a lisp the lead singer has. awsome. -polyester Khakis"

thank you so much, you just made me realize exactly why i hate me life so much. give me back all the oxygen you have taken from me since your birth.

i have only heard one song on this cd, and while i was never a big fan they never bothered me and i kinda held a little respect for them. the song i heard was terrible. it had a stupid 80s sound to it and the singing is so much different and so bad.

Eddie (April 14, 2004)

great band

Icapped2pac (April 14, 2004)

Not that bad of music, but these guys should tour with Phish given all the hipster fans they're accruing.

Polyesterkhakis (April 13, 2004)

Thats a pretty clever title. i had to read it again in my head before i got how clever it was, but thats just me. i knew i liked this band when i heard "Paper Thin Walls" and how big of a lisp the lead singer has. awsome. -polyester Khakis

neversosane (April 13, 2004)

nothing bad to say about modest mouse.

Anonymous (April 13, 2004)

average punknews reader( near the bottom of the reviews) thats just sad u go out of ur way to be punk, who cares what u wear, its not about clothing, dam fashion punks

Anonymous (April 13, 2004)

Avoid malls to avoid the hype.

Anonymous (April 13, 2004)

there's nothing wrong with sodomy

Anonymous (April 13, 2004)

its definetly gettin hype around here


Modern (April 13, 2004)

Cocaines a hell of a drug

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

Im rick james bitch!

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

You wandered from Paramus to Fort Lee...must have been a good cd.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

I've have seen NO "hype" on this record.. none.

Also Building Nothing, Lonesome Crowded West and Moon Antarctica have always been my top choices for driving music.

Maybe the reviewer recently got his license and just put it together..?

Not a horrible review.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

"I go out of my way to go buy ratty clothes, a leather jacket and bobby pins."

Haha bobby pins? You mean safety pins, right?

drinkin drinkin drinkin drinkin coca coca cola

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

Yeah, Brock got his jaw broken and tried to sodomize a girl. Now that's punk rock.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

i think MM is plenty punk. punks more about a mindset than a sound

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

what exactly would you consider a "punk" album. I think modest mouse is pretty fucking punk. thats just me though.


Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

it's been hyped. its good, but not life changing amazing music that will find constant rotation in my collection a year from now. hell even a month from now.
it's very good, but nothing awesome.


Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

now don't get me wrong i love modest mouse as much as the next person but there really seems to be very few punk records reviewed nowadays. ah fuck it.

Anonymous (April 11, 2004)

yeah 80! thats like right by my house. props!!!!11

dignin (April 11, 2004)

I havent really seen it hyped.

Anonymous (April 11, 2004)

i would say this album is waaay overhyped. the moon and antarctica was also overhyped, but better than this. still this album is better than most.


Anonymous (April 11, 2004)

saying "emo fag" makes you a hypocrite.

Anonymous (April 11, 2004)

what's with the "average punknews reader" post? not one negative post but you put that shit on anyway. does it make you feel better about yourself to talk shit on the mallpunk movement. yeah, those kids suck, but that is the farthest thing from an original thought around here. blow your nose, dry your tears, and go buy a new hoodie and find something else to bitch about you emo fag.

Romeo (April 11, 2004)

two thumbs up

Anonymous (April 11, 2004)

I always thought "The Lonesome Crowded West" was a great road album.

But that's just me.

dignin (April 11, 2004)

I love this cd but I dont think it touches The moon and antartica. That has been my most played cd for almost three years straight. THe trilogy of "the cold part", "devils apprentice", and "the stars are projectors" is absolutely amazing.

Anonymous (April 11, 2004)

very nice reviwew.I like it better than "moon and Antarctica" , because for me m&a is a bit too long-winded and it had too few upbeat song . I Think this album is at least as good as my favourite , "The lonesome crowded west" .
And check out the Chorus of "Black Cadillacs" .

p.s: Dancehall rocks !

Anonymous (April 11, 2004)

This isnt punk! Im punk......I go out of my way to go buy ratty clothes, a leather jacket and bobby pins. You think that shit is confortable? This shit wasnt on the Fat Wreck comp I bought at HottTopic....so theres no way this is punk. Oi!

-Average Punknews reader.

Anonymous (April 10, 2004)

this is a great review and every song i've heard so far on this album is so good. i'm going to pick it up tomorrow. i'm never disappointed by these guys.


joshcore (April 10, 2004)

i haven't heard this records yet, so this score is for listening to good records while traversing route 80.

Anonymous (April 10, 2004)

. Horn Intro (5/10)
2. The World At Large (8/10)
3. Float On (8/10)
4. Ocean Breathes Salty (9/10)
5. Dig Your Grave (5/10)
6. Bury Me With It (10/10)
7. Dance Hall (7/10)
8. Bukowski (8/10)
9. This Devil's Workday (8/10)
10. The View (10/10)
11. Satin In A Coffin (7/10)
12. Interlude (Milo) (5/10)
13. Blame It On The Tetons (7/10)
14. Black Cadillacs (9/10)
15. One Chance (9/10)
16. The Good Times Are Killing Me (8/10)

Anonymous (April 10, 2004)

two words: you missed. if those weren't in the background of track 4, that song would be unparalleled great on this disc. i've had the cool loop from number 2 in my head for days.

Anonymous (April 10, 2004)

This record is incredible!

Float On is the best track on the CD, so damn catchy!


Anonymous (April 10, 2004)

best album ive heard this year.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

I've grown to really enjoy "The Ocean Breathes Salty." It's the only song that truly retains the Modest Mouse sound of old.

sethcohen (April 9, 2004)

this record is dynamite. "float on" and "bury me with it" really stand out to me

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

Hey Gabe Smells, take the bus you fucking waster


Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

Just buy the damn thing, it's under $10.

ElVaquero (April 9, 2004)

Any MP3's?

ElVaquero (April 9, 2004)

Good review. I'd check out the band... but I know Assorted Jelly Beans are way more fun.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

personally i think that stay what you are by saves the day is a good road album. especially if you're out on a road trip going through the prairies.

dignin (April 9, 2004)

please excuse all the typos.

dignin (April 9, 2004)

I always though the lonesome... was the ultimate road music, I know it will be spinning on my way to see these guys this weekend. And of course this album is not as good as the moon and antartica, I didnt really expect it to be. That would be like askking Jesus to recreate the atonement. But good news.. is defiantly awesome.

Jesse (April 9, 2004)

I should like it. I just can't get into it. I don't know why. This band has always kept me at an arm's distance away. I think it can be categorized as I would like to hear it if in someone else's car, but I'd never buy it. Maybe I'll download it.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

Does anyone find the choruses somewhat repetitive? I mean, "Float On" has a rather tame chorus... Not to say that it's boring or anything... (Compared to Dramamine it is)

greg0rb (April 9, 2004)

Amazing album. I like it just a bit better than Moon because it seems to have more upbeat stuff, and I love their upbeat stuff. Moon still rules though, and Lonesome Crowded West is still my fav. Good call in the review that they are "one of the most unique sounding bands." Amen to that.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

"dancehall" is the only song i skip, and thats only every now and then. its not a bad song, just kinda looks bad in between all those other great ones. the vinyl has an extra song called "i've got it all (most)" thats really good, too. this record is all-around excellent. not quite as epic or as ambitious as "moon and antarctica", but its not trying to be. its just a good, fun, intelligent rock record. good review

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

I wanna Dance hall! Dancehall!

Woo. Best song ever.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

dancehall is the worst song modest mouse has ever done.

i must disagree with the reviewer, i have always considered Modest Mouse the BEST band when it comes to making road cds. any trip that i've ever made that has been more than an hour has involved "The Lonesome Crowded West" or "The Moon and Antarctica." Reason being the cds are so damn long that by the time you get through them it's been a full 74 minutes. Oh...and they destroy.

greg6711 (April 9, 2004)

some mid tracks a bit weak.

but for the most part I agree

good album, great review

gatecrasher (April 9, 2004)

Good album and good review.

The only complaint with the album is "Dance Hall". That song is horrible.

lieutenant (April 9, 2004)

I too have never been interested in this group, however am compelled to pick this up.

I hope to see many excellent reviews from you, unlike one poster who once posted an AMAZING piece about a Postal Service show, only to follow it up with a string of subpar ramblings. You know what I am talking about.

What? Oh. ANYWAYS, rock on.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

10 scene points for living in the area of this road journey?

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

easily one of the best reviews i have seen on this site. kudos for that. this album is great, but it's no moon & antarctica. still pretty damn good though.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

The Onion AV Club has an extremely interesting interview with Mr. Mouse himself.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

Great review. Makes that Zebrahead review look like an embarrassment to this site.

haha so mean

kirbypuckett (April 9, 2004)

This band has done nothing for me in the past, but this review has made me want to go out and buy this.


- Kirby

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

i would have to say that dance hall and the devil's workday were also my least favorite on the album... but overall, it is great

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

This album is utterly brilliant and "Dance Hall" isn't filler, I think they just wanted a song that they could really rock out with live...

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

Great review. Makes that Zebrahead review look like an embarrassment to this site.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

Good record. "Dance Hall" is filler, and "This Devil's Workday" wears its Tom Waits influence too blatantly. Aside from that, great songs.

Looks like I have to write a review for the Pulley record now.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

good album. great review.

thriceequalsgod (April 9, 2004)

great album. good reivew.

sloppyblake (April 9, 2004)

great cd

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)



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