Modest Mouse
The Lonesome Crowded West


5.0
classic

Review

by Robert Lowe CONTRIBUTOR (96 Reviews)
December 10th, 2014 | 225 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Of course, you think of everything

Classic Albums Month Pt. 3: I Used to be Sober and I Used to be Kinder

I distinctly remember when I first started listening to Modest Mouse. It was my first semester at university (getting into indie in college lol I know) and I felt very isolated and alone. I would put on Lonesome Crowded West and walk around campus between classes, not talking to anyone, instead filling my head with manifestations of trailer trash, cowboys, Orange Julius, and heart cooked brains. I was literally lonesome at a crowded university in the western part of the United States, and because of my congested solitary, Lonesome Crowded West clicked with me. It represented every trouble, every pessimistic thought, every negative emotion I felt at the time. Although I don't always feel this way anymore, Lonesome Crowded West stuck with me, it still resonates with me to this day because it's a masterpiece of desolation and one of the finest albums to be found in indie rock.

Lonesome, yet crowded is the perfect way to describe this album. The songs are busy - somethings always happening instrumentally, but lyrically it's very pessimistic and gloomy. Because it's brimming with dense instrumentation and because it kicks more ass than a perpetual ass kicking machine, it's easy to neglect how unsettling much of the album is lyrically. There's a clandestine, seedy underbelly to these songs, which perfectly exemplifies the mallification of western culture that Modest Mouse were revolting against. Though Modest Mouse often times have a negative outlook on things, they always find a way to turn negatives into a positive as Lonesome Crowded West is a rather pleasant listen once one gets past its rough exterior.

Lonesome Crowded West is the soundtrack to distaste and discomfort with one's surroundings. It's a musical road trip through every pessimistic, anxious, or narcissist thought one's mind might conjure while lonely and distressed. These are road trip songs, these are songs of reflection, these songs are at times a huggable and warm teddybear wearing a Christmas sweater, but most important of all, these are fucking fantastic songs. Lonesome Crowded West is the quintessential blend of hard rocking guitar based music, retrospective/introspective lyrics, and the perfect middle ground between the extended jam sessions of Long Drive, and the full on descent into self reflective nihilism found in The Moon & Antarctica.



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user ratings (1452)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • DynamiteKyle (5)
    The Lonesome Crowded West is one of the greatest alternative rock records of all time, and...

    Ryan Fitz (4.5)
    "And I'll go to college, and I'll learn some big words, and I'll speak really loud, God da...

    Tyler (4.5)
    Dark and full of cynicism, The Lonesome Crowded West is an excellent album by an outstandi...

    Richard Craig (3)
    ...

  • ELEPHANT512 (4)
    I think this is a really great album, although i think the first half is a lot better than...

    looozer (4.5)
    ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2014


50954 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I might as well declare December Modest Mouse month as well

Digging: Friendzone - Collection 1

RonnieRadke
December 10th 2014


316 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is honestly my favorite Modest Mouse album, you did it justice.

Digging: -

Kris.
December 10th 2014


12510 Comments


best modest mouse

RonnieRadke
December 10th 2014


316 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

and trailer trash is kind of a really simple song but i love it and it makes me sad everytime

NorthernSkylark
December 10th 2014


4696 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i wouldn't consider this underrated but cool rev

Digging: The Jesus and Mary Chain - Honey's Dead

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2014


50954 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Review is semi-inspired by Robin's Reconstruction Site review


deathschool
December 10th 2014


10411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. Mental pos

Digging: Dixie Dregs - What If

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
December 10th 2014


13452 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

good album

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2014


50954 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"i wouldn't consider this underrated but cool rev"

classics and underrated albums are separate in this series, I'm just gonna drop the underrated part because yeah it's confusing

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
December 10th 2014


13452 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

also nice summary thats good words

RonnieRadke
December 10th 2014


316 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I mean it was kind of underrated for a modest mouse album? idk just seems like the moon and antarctica and long drive get waymore love

Futures
December 10th 2014


12358 Comments


4.4 average underrated agreed

Digging: The Twilight Sad - Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave

Green Baron
December 10th 2014


20325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

COWBOY DAN'S A MAJOR PLAYER IN THE COWBOY SCENE

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2014


50954 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

get that disgraceful 3.5 out of here

JohnnyOnTheSpot
December 10th 2014


1890 Comments


stealing flags smh

Digging: Viet Cong - Viet Cong

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2014


50954 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I wasn't trying to say this album is underrated, I wanted to cover classic albums, and also underrated albums, but I only had one underrated album planned so I'm just dropping that part because I'm confusing people sorry for that and this run on sentence I'm so sorry

TalonsOfFire
December 10th 2014


9616 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lonesome Crowded West is the quintessential blend of hard rocking guitar based music, retrospective/introspective lyrics, and the perfect middle ground between the extended jam sessions of Long Drive, and
the full on descent into self reflective nihilism found in The Moon & Antarctica.


Well said sir, great review mind pos'd

deathschool
December 10th 2014


10411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5


"get that disgraceful 3.5 out of here"


...


K

RonnieRadke
December 10th 2014


316 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

'4.4 average underrated agreed'

why do you hate me

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2014


20155 Comments


nice job Treb

Digging: Angels and Airwaves - The Dream Walker



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