Modest Mouse - This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About (Cover Artwork)

Modest Mouse

This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About (1996)


I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Modest Mouse is one of the highlights in music of recent years. Their sheer earnesty and love for music and ideas has propelled them all the way to a major record label (EPIC). But let's take a look at their road to major-label status. Preceeding The Lonesome Crowded West, Modest Mouse's first full-length release was This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About.

If you were to actually pop the CD in for the first time on a road trip, the opening track, Dramamine, would set your mood for driving. The guitar, bass and drums all circle around each other, spiraling around inside your head until you, too, may need to down some dramamine. Following that are Breakthrough, Custom Concern, and Might, all memorable and thoroughly enjoyable tracks. The next standout track is Lounge. Again, the guitar and drums seem to be circling throughout the beginning of the song, and as always, frontman Isaac Brock's vocals add another layer to an already thickly diverse song.

Next come Beachside Property, and She Atomizes and Ionizes, two tracks I do not particularly care for. Following those are Beachside Property, Dog Paddle, and Novacain Stain. Once again, great songs, but on such a monumental CD, they are not among the absolute best.

The later tracks are where the Drive becomes especially interesting. Tundra/Desert is one of Modest Mouse's finest, starting off with a pitiful sounding Brock seemingly sobbing out vocals over a sloppy guitar part (both of these done intentionally, sounds great). A short interlude, and the song simply explodes. The energy is carried through the rest of the song, to make it one of my favorites of all time and of this album especially. Next comes Ohio, another wonderful song which carries the seemingly depressing and dull mood. Exit Does Not Exist is yet another enjoyable song, but the real treat comes after. Talking Shit About a Pretty Sunset is another of Brock's finest works. Lyrics like "and I'm trying to understand myself, and pinpoint who I am, by the time I've got it figured out, I've changed the whole damn plan" show Isaac's inner struggle, only to be complimented by the next track, Make Everyone Happy/Mechanical Birds ("I'm not sure who I am, but I know who I've been"). This cluster of songs at the end hits you like a ton of bricks when you first hear it, catching you way off guard. The CD ends on a musically lighter note with Space Travel is Boring, a sort of light-hearted yet still with a hint of sorrow farewell track.

After hearing this album, as with any Modest Mouse offering, you feel as if you're a changed person. The genuine lyrics mixed with inspired music can instantly change your mood. I recommend this CD to anyone, ever, who has any appreciation for music at all. The recording quality is good, the composition of tracks is superb (as always). It's Modest Mouse at its best, which puts it easily among the best CD's I've ever heard.