One word I would NOT use to describe this release is "brilliant." It's scattered, underdeveloped, and sometimes grating. Having said that, if you are a big fan of Modest Mouse, this is an absolute must-have (unless, of course, you are a REALLY big fan, and you already have all these songs on all the damn 7-inches). Sad Sappy Sucker shows a side of Modest Mouse that they haven't shown fans on any of their other releases. I'd always heard comparisons to Pavement and Built to Spill, and here and there I could pick something out in their music that resembled these bands, but this release shows exactly how much Modest Mouse developed into their own sound from a very derivative beginning. First of all, Sad Sappy Sucker contains only two songs over 3 minutes long, and none that hit the 3:10 mark; hearing such short songs coming from MM is extremely odd, and probably one of the reasons this release is so interesting for me. The songs were recorded in 1994-95, and sound heavily influenced by Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted and Built to Spill's There's Nothing Wrong with Love. They have all the raw charm, energy, and weirdness of songs on those albums, stamped with just enough of Isaac Brock's own flavor (and he had plenty of it, even at this young age) to make them new. Unfortunately, the majority of the songs don't have the yearning and desperation of Pavement or the beauty and fragility of Built to Spill to make Sad Sappy Sucker a true classic; so only four stars. I will reiterate that this album is one that will probably only appeal to big fans, and is definitely NOT a starting-out point.