Building Something Out Of Nothing is a compilation of singles and rarities by Modest Mouse. They are the band credited with breathing new life into American indie and alternative music after the death of grunge. This highly regarded collection is being reissued on vinyl for the first time in more than ten years and is thought to be an excellent starting point for the uninitiated and a genuine crowd-pleaser for those in-the-know.
9/10 Simon Campbell Customer review, 1st April 2015
Some people may expect a 'compilation' of singles, B-sides and rarities spanning 1996-1998 to include a number of half baked ideas that weren't good enough to feature on either This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About or The Lonesome Crowded West. Simply put, if you think this, you're wrong. This collection of songs stands shoulder to shoulder with the aforementioned in creating a cohesive yet musically varied album which covers a number of typical Modest Mouse themes including the universe, religion, isolation, worthlessness, drugs and of course driving.
As a songwriter, Isaac Brock has always been known for his use of metaphors and philosophical lyrics which are showcased straight off the bat in opener 'Never Ending Math Equation' with the lines "I'm the same as I was when I was six years old/ And oh my god I feel so damn old/ I don't really feel anything" before launching into his thoughts on the nature of an infinite universe "The universe works on a math equation/ That never even ever really ends in the end/ Infinity spirals out creation". The song eventually builds to a whirling crescendo punctuated with Isaac's barks, fantastic stuff.
A number of the songs present here have lyrics based around the feeling of isolation and worthlessness, such as 'Baby Blue Sedan' "And it's hard to be a human being/ And it's harder as anything else/ And I'm lonesome when you're around/ And I'm never lonesome when I'm by myself". They're lyrics that upon reading may seem cliched when performed by most others however the sincerity in their delivery here is perfect. Don't go thinking though that the album is serious on all fronts though, songs such as All Night Diner provide a thumping base line to accompany the story of a surreal encounter in a diner complete with the line "I have sex/ I'm always thinking about the pavement/ So I can avoid premature ejaculation".
Ultimately this is a great album for seasoned Modest Mouse fans and newcomers alike, and now that it's being reissued there's no excuse to not check it out!
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- Building Nothing Out of Something by Modest Mouse
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