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.