Modest Mouse

Satellite Skin (single)

This limited-edition 7-inch vinyl release marks the brilliance and gritty noir content of Modest Mouse’s earlier work, circa “Styrofoam Boots/ It’s All Nice on Ice, Alright” (off 1997’s The Lonesome Crowded West) and “All Night Diner” (2000’s Building Nothing Out of Something). Isaac Brock seems to once again be singing for his life, his voice replete with stylized bellows of existential angst. By the fourth minute of “Satellite Skin,” Brock’s punchy, grunting inflections evolve from circus barker to sorrow-stricken, crooning flâneur: “Just like being in my own solar system / Doing good things but then totally eclipse them.” The B-side, “Guilty Cocker Spaniels,” begins with bending electric guitar-as-sitar patterns and twinkling keyboards that build to full-band collaborative riffing matched with insightful, metafictional lyrics: “Salad days add up to daily shit / Sparkling imagination until the sparks just quit / And if this is fun / why am I so bored with it? / Well I will probably never know.” Devoted fans will need this limited release (only 4,000 copies pressed), but may find themselves wanting for more after this brief artful sampling.