As the first album throwback of Heavy Bass and Breakdowns, I bring you an album that took the millennium for a storm back on June 13th, 2000. Not only did this album set a precedent for 21st century aspiring artists, but this album set the precedent for our current generation of sweet indie tunes. This album is Modest Mouse’s third studio album The Moon & Antarctica.
I was first introduced to this album during my 9th grade algebra class. Because I was one of the only kids who actually understood algebra (pretty sure I aced that shit with flying colors), my teacher let me goof off every class. One day, as part of my daily goof off sessions, he loaned me The Moon & Antarctica (mind you, at the time, I was still jacked up on the sounds of Nirvana and Brand New, and my listening patterns were fairly limited). Of course, at this point, Modest Mouse’s album Good News For People Who Love Bad News had been released a year prior to me getting The Moon & Antarctica (remember them playing Float On every fucking day on VH1? I LOVED THAT SHIT). I pretty much already knew I would love this album from what I had hear from Good News, but this album wayyyyyyyy blew my expectations. My 9th grade math teacher went from lame to cool in a 15-song album.
If there is an album to give a fuck to, give all your fucks to this one. The Moon & Antarctica is raw, spacey, and experimental. You hear this album and immediately realize “well, this HAS to be Modest Mouse. Who else has this sound?” The album is a course in humanity, and our relatively small existence in the big picture. As they explore age in Gravity Rides Everything (“As fruit drops, flesh it sags, everything will fall right into place. When we die, some sink and some lay, but at least I don’t see you float away.”), our worth on the earth is thrown in our faces in What People Are Made Of (“And the one thing you taught me ’bout human beings was this: they ain’t made of nothin’ but water and shit”). I’m gonna go out on a limb here and just say this: people love feeling like they have a purpose, and we like to believe we are untouchable. Something about having an album that tells us that, basically, we are all animals and really are minuscule in the game of life makes us want to listen more.
I won’t lie; this was always my go-to album during my teenage years when I was feeling down. Be it a breakup or a bad day at school, I related to The Moon & Antarctica in which I felt that life would go on, no matter what was going on in my own, self-absorbed existence. Isaac Brock sounds ethereal throughout the album, with Jeremiah Green punching in with perc and Eric Judy on some dope bass. Throw in some organs, violin, and banjo, and you have an ensemble ready to blow your brains with sweet tuneage.
My 14-year-old self, and my current 21-year-old self, highly recommends the album. Whether you’re having a bad day, good day, or just need a good, solid album with all its parts in check, listen to The Moon & Antarctica. Then, just to do it, go revisit all your other Modest Mouse album’s. You will have a very hard time finding a band quite like them. I guarantee it.
OVERALL RATING: Perfection.
SONGS TO LOOK OUT FOR: 3rd Planet, Gravity Rides Everything, Alone Down There, The Stars Are Projectors, Wild Packs Of Family Dogs, Lives.
WHAT THIS BAND IS UP TO NOW: Modest Mouse has been working on a new album for 4 years (or what I would consider an assload of time). They were recently seen at the 2013 Coachella festival, where they played a few new songs! They also cancelled their upcoming EU/UK tour to work on the new album, which is pretty shitty. The plan is to release their new album by 2014. Here are some upcoming shows they are planning.