Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Modest Mouse
No One's First, And You're Next

Released 2009 on Sony
Reviewed by MariaJeanSullivan, 08/11/2011ce

No One’s First, And You’re Next is a delightful sputtering of b-sides and previously released tracks from We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank (2007) and Good News For People Who Love Bad News (2005). Despite the years in between recordings, this remains a cohesive collection of eight songs following those records’ dark and luxurious style. It is but a quick taste, though. While the album lasts only 33 minutes, it satisfies the hunger lingering since We Were Dead. “The Whale Song” has a barbed guitar solo à la Isaac Brock that takes you right back to the caustic days of Good News’ “One Chance” and “Black Cadillacs.” “Autumn Beds” titillates Brock’s love affair with words -- “As sure as clocks are bleeding time, we’ll show up early just to wait in line” -- suggesting that profound moments are just short segments in the larger race against time. The single “King Rat,” whose video was directed by the late Heath Ledger, has that brassy country grit that Modest Mouse fans devour. Reminiscent of “Float On,” the single “Satellite Skin” has a reclusive shouting sound to it, although it is still somewhat popish. All in all, No One’s First is an essential mix tape of the forgotten and ill-guided stepchildren of two great albums that have curved the next direction of Modest Mouse’s career.

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