Modest Mouse
Building Nothing Out of Something



by Zebra USER (177 Reviews)
December 18th, 2005 | 262 replies

Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Modest Mouse formed in the mid 90's, they have released seven full length albums. I've been a Modest Mouse fan for quite some time, and out of all their albums this is probably my least favorite of theirs. Building Nothing out of Something is a combination of ep's and b-sides. This is not an actual album but sort of a compilation of the bands older songs. While I don't usually purchase things like this, I actually enjoy this album a lot more than I thought I would.

This is probably the most reflective and angst-ridden Modest Mouse album. Most of these songs are soft, dreary and even depressing. I've heard some people call this the bands most "emo" album, while that is true this is definately not an emo record. The big problem with this is that there are not a lot of rock out, or heavy tracks. However when Modest Mouse does rock out they are extremely sloppy and messy. This isn't a bad thing, but it makes this album very unaccessible. The raw, rough edged sound is excellent and is probably the highlight of the album, these songs are raw yet they remain quirky and sometimes abrasive. If their was a depressing and reflective Modest Mouse, Building Nothing out of Something is what it sounds like.

Modest Mouse create a sloppy, rough, and raw album. While mixing in influences of pop, indie-rock, lo-fi, and folk BNOOS is an album that shows great potential. There are a lot of quiet, subtle moments that are very reflective and soft, I don't really like this because the songs are bland and dull. Throughout lo-fi guitar strums, soft guitar riffs powered by a decent rythm section Modest Mouse don't really do much when they try to slow things down. Sure the songs are quirky, mellow, and somewhat deep but the slow paced songs just make this a bore.

Now when Modest Mouse trys to rock out the result it good. The rough, hard rocking riffs mixed in with a decent rythm section makes a good raw sound. These songs are extremely catchy, I can listen to All Nite Diner for two hours straight. The pounding drum beats and the hard rock influenced guitar riffs combine to create an indie-rock masterpiece. Abrasive, rough, and energetic, that is what these songs sound like. I enjoy this because Modest Mouse show a lot of energy and you can tell they are having a great time. Most of these songs sound sloppy and unorganized. This is a bad thing in most cases but I really enjoy the sound because it feels like Modest Mouse is playing right in front of you. The only downside would be that there arn't a lot of rock tracks, and that makes things incredibely inconsistant.

Isaac Brocks vocals have been described as many things. Some people hate his voice and some love it. Isaac has a whiny, quirky, and gentle voice. Sometimes he sounds nervous and frail on the slower tracks, his voice can even be soothing. Now when Modest Mouse rocks out Isaac goes insane. He screams the lyrics through the microphone and doesn't seem to care what other people think. Once again I enjoy this because he makes it sound like Modest Mouse is playing right in front of you. While Isaac can have a very sloppy and load voice her strives on the slower, and more calm tracks.  

Overall I would say that this is a good indie-rock album. There is nothing groundbreaking and astonishing about Building Nothing out of Something, but it is a decent rock album. Unless you are a big Modest Mouse fan I wouldn't recommend this. This album is inconsistant and sloppy at times, I would stay away from this if you're trying to get into Modest Mouse. Throughout the calm, peaceful moments and the hard rocking moments Isaac Brock seems to make things work. These songs arn't very well crafted, but you can tell that the band is having fun. While this is probably my least favorite Modest Mouse album it is not bad, and it shows that the band has a lot of energy and unique ideas.  

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user ratings (507)
other reviews of this album
mmfarva (4.5)
Modest Mouse compile a bunch of singles and b-sides, somehow piecing them together to make an incred...

Comments:Add a Comment 
Two-Headed Boy
December 18th 2005


I'm thinking about getting some modest mouse.

nice review

December 18th 2005


I like anything before Good News for People Who Love Tom Waits Impressions and a Lot of Filler.This Message Edited On 12.18.05

Two-Headed Boy
December 18th 2005



December 18th 2005


Is it me or does Modest Mouse have the best album titles ever?

December 18th 2005


its just you...

Storm In A Teacup
December 18th 2005


They do Sepstrup.

Don't have this, need it.

Great review.

Shaun of the Dead
January 19th 2006


holy crap, no wonder my brother said to read your reviews to learn, fantastic review
too bad i don't know any of the bands you have reviewed at all tho

March 7th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

this is incredibly underrated.

March 7th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

It's underated, but I dont think it deserves five stars. I think that the sloppy gets better the more you listen to it, especially the more rock driven tracks.

Modest Mouse
March 26th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

THIS IS INCREDIBLY UNDERRATED THIS IS A GREAT ALBUM, just because they album is more depressed and soft does not mean it is bad let alone there worst, this album is probably better and more catchy than good news for people who love bad news

March 26th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Ya what sam said

June 8th 2006


The reason they have the greatest album titles ever (debatable) is because they have the greatest lyrics ever (debatable too, probably by the same people).

south_of_heaven 11
January 4th 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

I decided to check these guys out...and I don't really care for this at all. I mean, it's relaxing to me, and the lyrics are interesting, but other than that, it holds no appeal to me.

Digging: RAM - Rod

September 15th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

sleepwalkin is one of my favorite songs right now.

June 1st 2009


in heaven everything is fine

in heavuun everythings alright

June 1st 2009


workin on livin workin on leavn workin on leaven the liiivin

June 1st 2009


love ya more than anything loved it more than evurthing loved evrything more than nnnn-ething

August 27th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

great compilation...interstate 8, broke, whenever i breath out, a life of arctic sounds...just to name a few kickin' tracks on this

September 9th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

I feel like Medication ain't gettin' no love...perhaps my favorite track on here. That title could also go easily to Interstate 8, Broke, Life Of Arctic Sounds, or Whenever You Breath yeah, good album though, took the longest to grow of all the Mouse though (for me), you've been warned of it's delicious power

September 14th 2009


All Nite Diner and Broke are so amazing....

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