TOP TRACK: “3rd Planet”
In some circles, signing to a major label connotes selling out or going corporate. For Modest Mouse, the exact opposite is true: the Washington alt rockers’ major label debut, The Moon and Antarctica, remains one of the band’s densest, most introverted and inspired works to date.
Taking on the complex and weighty topic of “the human condition,” The Moon and Antarctica features an entirely cosmic and unique sonic approach. This new, more mature sound, owing in part to production by Brian Beck, boasts a depth never before heard from the band. Frontman Isaac Brock’s vocals echo with a heavy despair, burdened by the realization that living is hopeless – a prominent theme on the record. “Everything that keeps me together is falling apart,” he admits on album opener “3rd Planet,” amidst a host of other gloomy (but always truthful) musings.
Depressing as they may seem, lines like that now stand as some of the band’s and the decade’s seminal moments.
— John Luposello