It is a rare thing, indeed that a band issues a debut that not only defies convention, but also defines a sound; Lonesome Crowded West, by Modest Mouse, at the very least, does this. Reference points and comparisons are meaningless here. The spiraling and inharmonious guitar ricocheting off melodious base lines and thundering drums are kept afloat by Brock's impaired vocals. Love this record, or hate it, but where can one find a turntable, acoustic guitar, violin solos, and Jesus all in one song. Brock's lyrics cover the spectrum, life, religion, cowboys and, in their own way, offer meaning to what has none. In these existential tirades are also great stories, interesting characters, and non-existent dance moves. Don't be fooled by double-talk or jaded old rock critics; this album is one for the ages. Keep it in your car for a week on repeat- soak it in, then see if you haven't suffered a shift in the way you hear an album. This record will change your mind about what could, should, and ought to be done with the tried and true guitar, base, and drum trio. The West, though now it may be crowded was once a great frontier. With Lonesome Crowded West, Modest Mouse have opened a new one.