Modest Mouse: Isaac Brock (vocals, guitar); Eric Judy (bass); Jeremy Green (drums).
Additional personnel: Calvin Johnson, Nicole Johnson (vocals); Steve Wold (guitar); Brent Arnold (cello).
Personnel: Isaac Brock (vocals, guitar, drums); Nicole Johnson, Calvin Johnson (vocals); Steve Wold (guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, background vocals); Brent Arnold (cello); Jeremiah Green (drums).
Recording information: Moon Studios, Olympia, WA (10/1996-11/1996).
Expanding upon the themes of emotional and geographic isolation found in the band's previous work, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About finds Modest Mouse mixing slow, brooding numbers such as "Custom Concern" and "Talking Shit About a Pretty Sunset" with thrashing guitar workouts like "Breakthrough" and "Head South." The general mood here is one of loneliness and desperation, eloquently expressed through both the lyrics and the rhythmic, sprawling instrumentation. "Dramamine," for instance, with its driving, mid-tempo beat and ricocheting guitar line, sums up the hopelessness of a doomed relationship, while the frantic "Head South" deals with the feeling of "being ashamed of your old space." The mandolin, slide guitar, and cello featured throughout the album give the songs a certain degree of depth that makes them stand out from average indie rock fare. In general, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About is a fine album, and Modest Mouse distinguishes itself here with songs whose meanings are simultaneously universal and painfully personal. ~ Brandon Gentry