There’s a rich level of fandom that comes with loving a band like Modest Mouse. Active for the best part of 17 years, they’d earned the mainstream success that went with the critical acclaim long before it happened but, to the diehards, there’s a sense that they’re a band who’ve almost been shared with the wrong people. Johnny Marr’s involvement ultimately gave them a whole new commercial charm, his quintessential Britishness awkwardly sidling alongside their obvious Americanism, which further skewed their appeal. But Johnny’s long gone, and tonight Isaac Brock is wired and alive, bugged out, trying to vanquish whatever demon inhabits him on stage, and although The Troxy’s sound flitters between the muddied and the crystal, it’s a show to appease all.
Opening with ‘Dramamine’ from their debut album, the band’s set-list is one that takes in the entire Modest Mouse timeline, and whilst there’s an obvious polarity between their work pre ‘Good News for People Who Love Bad News’ and more recent offerings, with the most vocal excitement reserved for popular, breakthrough single ‘Float On’, it doesn’t diminish from a performance to firmly point anyone in the direction of their wealthy back catalogue.
By Reef Younis
Originally published in issue 21 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. September 2010