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compiled by Max Sebela
August 11, 2009
No One’s First and You’re Next
2009 | Epic
No One’s First and You’re Next is much in the vein of Modest Mouse’s previous (and fantastic) compilation Building Nothing Out of Something. It is a collection of b-sides and singles from the Good News and We Were Already Dead sessions that didn’t quite make it onto an LP. But the songs aren’t just mere outtakes. Included with a couple of new tracks are full re-recordings of the previously shelved tracks, making the album feel far from a group of oddities thrown together. The extra effort in production might indicate the same level-headed polish found on the band’s last two LPs, but this isn’t the case. And, in a good way, No One’s First retains some of the rough edges that characterized the spirit of Modest Mouse’s early work.
The songwriting, however, is very much like the sessions these songs sprang from. So while “Satellite Skin” has some of the ratty distorted guitar from the Modest Mouse of old, it keeps a solid composure that resembles the band’s recent brand of cross-eyed pop. The start of “Guilty Cocker Spaniels” even has a similar shuffle to Modest Mouse’s breakthrough single, “Float On.” But what makes this compilation most like the band’s recent output is its dabbling in bluegrass and Americana. While these genres have always found their way into the music of Modest Mouse, No One’s First finds the band drawing on their even more traditional aspects.
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