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Modest Mouse - No One's First, and You're Next (Cover Artwork)

Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse: No One's First, and You're NextNo One's First, and You're Next (2009)
Sony Music Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


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

The first thing I always did when I got a new single was flip it over and play the other side. I always hoped the B-side would give me another version of the artist, something as good as the A-side but somehow different. I expected great B-sides from the artists I loved."Robert Smith, Join the Dots .
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The first thing I always did when I got a new single was flip it over and play the other side. I always hoped the B-side would give me another version of the artist, something as good as the A-side but somehow different. I expected great B-sides from the artists I loved."
Robert Smith, Join the Dots - B-sides & Rarities 1978-2001

When a band does it right, a good B-sides collection is almost more exciting than a good studio album. It means they've been bleeding so many great songs that they can't be contained in mere episodic album installments. It means your favorite band is practically giving this stuff away. And it means you don't have to hunt down too many pesky, overpriced singles. Think of the Smiths' Louder Than Bombs, or Oasis' The Masterplan, or Bruce Springsteen's Tracks. There's so much buried treasure on those collections. Well, make room for a few Modest Mouse entries as well. The band's rarities collections -- Building Something Out of Nothing, Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks, and the recent No One's First, and You're Next -- are just as good as full-length knockouts like The Lonesome Crowded West or The Moon & Antarctica.

Just as Parlour Tricks served as an eight-track complement to The Moon & Anarctica, so does No One's First serve Good News for People Who Love Bad News and We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. Here are another eight kind of catchy, kind of angry songs from the irascible Isaac Brock and his crew, and not a dud in sight. While it would be great to have a full-length's worth of rarities, it's hard to argue with such a solid 33-minute release.

The album opens with "Satellite Skin" and "Guilty Cocker Spaniels," from a May seven-inch. "Satellite Skin" is reminiscent of the band's sound circa 2007's We Were Dead, which isn't surprising considering it features the same personnel. "Guilty Cocker Spaniels" is a little more spacious -- it has fewer instruments after all -- with a dreamier, more acoustic bent. But it's still anchored by Brock's trademark voice. "Autumn Beds" goes even softer.

Despite featuring material from the last six years or so, No One's First is expertly sequenced. It comes out big, dips down into mellower territory, and then ratchets back up with "The Whale Song." This tune features some of the gnarly guitar work of Modest Mouse's earlier days, earning its title by being a lengthy behemoth of a rocker. It's arguably the strongest track on the EP.

The EP's second half starts to resemble Good News more, thanks to the presence of that album's horn section, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, on "Perpetual Motion Machine" and Good News bonus track "I've Got It All (Most)." The keyboard-driven "History Sticks to Your Feet" is straightforward indie rock. Finally, the 2007 single "King Rat" finds a CD release. It's still a pleasant lil rocker.

And that's what you get from No One's First, great B-sides. Perhaps Modest Mouse has hit on a solid formula here: Write another great album, save what's worth saving from the cutting room floor for an EP, then ship that out too. I think that's a reasonable expectation.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Flatliners - CavalcadeThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangModest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even SankThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Clash - London CallingAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseBrand New - DaisyThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsWorld/Inferno Friendship Society - The Anarchy and the Ecstasy

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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.
Ilovesuckingdick69 (September 14, 2009)

i try the whale song after last comment but didn't like it. the song is 6:04, wayyy too long for any song and it never even gets loud. i think that these guys are local, too.

Wesley_Snipes (September 11, 2009)

Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song Whale Song

Archangel (September 11, 2009)

Follow-up comment after reading the other comments:

HAHA AMAZING. Thank you mikexdude.

Archangel (September 11, 2009)

Perfect band, perfect release. Whale Song is just unbelievably god damn fucking amazing.

milo210 (September 11, 2009)

Oasis? Really?

saint_jake (September 11, 2009)

Score is for "King Rat" and "Whale Song".

Amazing songs.

Blackjaw_ (September 11, 2009)

They're one of my all-time favourite bands; these tracks are good but not amazing or anything.

hot_cheetos (September 11, 2009)

Great band, love pretty much all their records. Issac Brock is fucking talented.

TheMike (September 11, 2009)

You know a band is awesome when their b-sides compilation EP is one of the better releases in a given year.

R3vengeTherapy (September 11, 2009)

"Satellite Skin" is one of Modest Mouse's best songs. Love it. I'm not a hardcore MM fan, but this is a great little b-side album.

Also wanted to plug Louder Than Bombs as the greatest b-side record of all time and space.

nocigar (September 11, 2009)

This is fucking awesome, like everything they've done.

eazyd2 (September 11, 2009)

score is for the gayness

RedElephant (September 11, 2009)

love everything they've done.

colin (September 11, 2009)

i haven't really been able to enjoy this band since "good news...", it just seemed like with that record they took some weird turn for the worse. "moon and antarctica'" is a fucking classic, though.

sexualsunshine (September 11, 2009)

Sounds cool.

mikexdude (September 10, 2009)

Archangel is stoked. Need 2 hear.

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