Being on the payroll of Epic Records hasn't take the "fuck" out of Isaac Brock's vocabulary, but gone are the messy guitars and screams that made early Modest Mouse songs like "Tundra/Desert" writhe with enough energy to power a dehumidifier big enough to suck the wet out of Modest Mouse's instruments. The Lonesome Crowded West,
Modest Mouse's last indie release on Up Records in 1998, documented the long-term effects of manifest destiny with songs about growing up in trailer parks and shopping malls in the sprawling forests of the Northwest. Now, in the 21st century, it seems things have reversed themselves; the new push is back East, and Modest Mouse's songs have a more global feel; 2000's The Moon and Antarctica
, their first release on Epic, was ethereal and worldly in its scope, a veritable Big Bang. Who ever woulda thunk you'd hear Modest Mouse blaring out of Jeep speakers and car commercials?
Now, with Good News for People Who Love Bad News, Brock seems to be reverting in on himself: "Woke up this morning and it seemed to me, that every night turns out to be a little more like Bukowski. And yeah, I know he's a pretty good read. But God, who'd wanna be such an asshole?" With song titles like "The World at Large" and "Ocean Breathes Salty," Modest Mouse keeps the universe in check, and with song structures and sounds similar to their previous records, Modest Mouse seemingly has nowhere else to go except back where they started, unless the astronomers do, in fact, find another solar system.