Here’s the beginning of the end. In June of 2000 Modest Mouse released The Moon & Antarctica, the follow up to Building Nothing Out of Something and their major label debut in Epic Records. This is the point where they transition from a bunch of white trash kids from Issaquah to pop rock stars. I hate being the guy who says “Once they signed to a major label they changed”…. But they did. I don’t care about selling out, we all have bills to pay, but something changed on this album. Would they have made this same album if they weren’t signed to Epic? Maybe, I dunno. I think a part of it was also the production work of Brian Deck. I think he made a big/wrong influence one the band. Either way this is the album where I started to drift away from Modest Mouse. What’s funny to me is how many people I know claim that this is their favorite album. Different strokes, and all that.
I don’t want to rag on this album too much, there definitely are some good songs, but not many. My personal favorite is Life Like Weeds, a six and a half minute jam that is definitely reminiscent of their older material. I even had this grand idea for a short film I wanted to make around the song, storyboards and all.
While I may not be the biggest fan of the album, I’m a huge fan of today’s wallpaper by Aaron Bloom. There’s a sort of nostalgic magic to his wallpaper which I love. The color, the half-tone pattern, Modest Mouse built out of stars. It’s a clear reference to the song The Stars Are Projectors and it’s done exquisitely. I think Modest Mouse should replace their old cover and put this in it’s place. It’s probably also worth mentioning that the iPad version is Retina ready.