Mean Everything to Nothing
I spent most of this album thinking of a less adventurous Modest Mouse. The songs aren't as winding, the lyrics aren't as inventive, the production isn't quite as nuanced. Still, there's something here that made me keep reaching for Brock in my mind. I just can't quite put my finger on it.
The first three songs build up to one another, each better than the last. Opener "The Only One" uses a clever guitar trick to build a shifting background. "Shake It Out" grabs your attention rather successfully. The high point is "I've Got Friends," a riveting piece of music that sounds familiar and entirely new all at once. It's a special song. What follows it is by no means bad, but it doesn't live up. An album that will please those who are already fans, may attract a few new ones, but will hardly transcend its audience.