MORE THAN MODEST 

Few bands around can make it hurt so good.

After a solid show last year at Last Place on Earth, one of the best "indie-rock" bands around, Seattle's Modest Mouse, returns to the area with a show Monday, September 24th, at Proud Larry's in Oxford. Modest Mouse released two of 2000's best rock albums in the form of indie farewell Building Nothing Out of Something and the major-label debut The Moon and Antarctica, records that showcase songs that don't have choruses so much as mantras, with singer/guitarist Isaac Brock driving his songs with fidgety, circular guitar riffs that shadow his alternatively whiny and screaming vocals. It's rock-and-roll as a never-ending math equation. And this obsesswiveness extends to ideas and images that are repeated song to to song, album to album. Brock rhapsodizes a sense of entrapment and futility that comes off more stoic and bemused than depressivwe, a sense of constant motion on a road to nowhere. This is a band that once named an album The Longsome, Crowded West to describe the isolation they felt in their home region and then mvoed on to The Moon and Antarctica, two barren places that imply a more universal malady. Few bands around can make it hurt so good.

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