Modest Mouse
Too Many Fiestas for Rueben


5.0
classic

Review

by Objectively correct opinion haver USER (13 Reviews)
September 21st, 2021 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A track so nice, I reviewed it twice!

In my review of The Lonesome Crowded West (Links don't work, see comment -Ed.) I asserted that it's the greatest Western album (note the capitalization!), and in so many words that "Cowboy Dan"'s the best track of the album. I guess by associative property that means that "Cowboy Dan" is the greatest Western song. I'm not sure how I feel about that―the mind reels at such an Earth shattering revelation―but at least it justifies the existence of the single with far too long-a name: Too Many Fiestas For(sic) Rueben / Cowboy Dan, hereafter TMFFR/CD.

TMFFR/CD (just rolls right off the tongue) is almost too short to even be considered a single. The other track, "Too Many Fiestas For Rueben" is little more than a minute long. It's a fun little number about―in my imagination King of the Hill's Joseph Gribble a decade later. It's abrasive-yet-catchy in Brock's own quirky way, quickly grew on me and is actually quite fun to sing along in your purposefully worst singing voice.

But really it's all about "Cowboy Dan", the Greatest Western Song™. If you're reading this odds are good you've already heard and love[d] The Lonesome Crowded West, but if you haven't you couldn't have picked a better paragraph to stumble on, I'm only sorry you had to get through the previous two to get here. "Cowboy Dan" is a very stirring faux country-and-western call to arms by the titular Dan, a cowboy being slowly strangled by urbanization, gentrification, and the consequential displacement. Oh yeah, and it's like an indie rock song by an acclaimed band with like guitar solos and hooks and stuff. It's a different mix and recording of the track from the one on The Lonesome Crowded West, and the superior one at that.

Why's it superior? It feels strange to say, but the album was holding the track back. Comparing the two, it seems like the album mix was toned down in nearly every way so that it'd better slot into the album as just one part of a larger whole. In a sense, they took all the sharp edges out of a song whose entire raison d'etre is to deliberately be as cutting as possible. Free to stand on its own this new mix is lush with more of everything: Brock sounds louder and angrier, the quiet of the bridge has more room to breathe, greater distortion on the guitars amplifies their twang nicely, the addition of a fiddler is easily the best part of the mix and he plays with a level of soul I didn't think possible on the instrument, and in the starkest change the ending is louder, more aggressive, and more varied. To me at least, in the original mix the last minute is so much noise that's far too easy to simply tune out by accident. Not so here. Everything about this mix is better, and it behoves you to hear it.

No track, not even the Greatest Western Song™ needs this many words to say it's good, so if you're looking for a tl;dr it's simple. If you know Modest Mouse this is their best work improved on every level by a new mix, and if you don't know Modest Mouse there's no better single track to start with, though you really ought to listen to a whole album instead. Oh yeah, and "Too Many Fiestas for Rueben" is good too.



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user ratings (19)
4.4
superb


Comments:Add a Comment 
Lacedaemonius
September 21st 2021


97 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Damn you bbcode formatting, now I have to link here like it's the dark ages

https://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/83770/Modest-Mouse-The-Lonesome-Crowded-West/

The above referenced album review.

Ryus
September 21st 2021


37004 Comments


cowboy dan is their best song agreed

Shemson
September 21st 2021


4156 Comments


Nice review, made me want to listen to a new mix of an already great song…
and of course the fact that Cowboy Dan is a major player in the cowboy scene

Cormano
September 22nd 2021


4140 Comments


shit I didn't know an alt mix existed

NorthernSkylark
September 22nd 2021


12134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

He goes to the reservation drinks and gets mean

NorthernSkylark
September 22nd 2021


12134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just heard this and yeah it’s def more angry and poignant than the original.

Feather
September 23rd 2021


10169 Comments


Just checked this out and I have to say, it is not a 5, but I enjoyed the listen.

Get Low
September 23rd 2021


14296 Comments


reviews on old, 2-track singles will always get kudos from me

Lacedaemonius
September 23rd 2021


97 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I wasn't really comfortable giving it a five either but that's just math. Numbers don't lie. To think otherwise is just indolent.

Oh and numeric scores are dumb lol.

NorthernSkylark
September 23rd 2021


12134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Welcome to Sputnik.

YoYoMancuso
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2021


18878 Comments


another awesome review, last word should be "too" instead of "to". i love how in depth you went with this

Lacedaemonius
September 23rd 2021


97 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

No kidding? I had no idea that little grammatical rule. On another note I hope I'm not the only autist bothered that they spelled it "Rueben" and not "Reuben" like the sandwich.

oltnabrick
September 25th 2021


40684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

cowboy ddddddan

Lacedaemonius
September 30th 2021


97 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the more I listen to this the more I wish TMFFR was feature length

I really want to hear some of his fiestas



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