Staff pick: Modest Mouse at Express Live

Isaac Brock and Co. return to Columbus Tuesday on the heels of newly released album 'The Golden Casket'

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Modest Mouse

My introduction to Modest Mouse arrived my senior year of college, when "Float On" cut through the alt-rock radio noise with that bouncy, staccato guitar riff, instantly sing-able chorus and Isaac Brock's endearingly squawky verses about running his mouth off and backing his vehicle into a cop car.

I thankfully made it through college without damaging any police cruisers, but the buoyant optimism of the song did resonate at the time. I was about to leave all of my best friends from the last four years, and I didn't know exactly what life had in store for my future wife and me. But hey, we'll all float on, all right? Don't worry. Even if things end up a bit too heavy, we'll all float on.

I wasn't one of the cool kids who already knew about previous Modest Mouse albums like The Moon & Antarctica (2000) or The Lonesome Crowded West (1997), but "Float On" and the rest of 2004's Good News for People Who Love Bad News sent me diving into the Isaac Brock discography — a rewarding venture I'd still highly recommend (Lonesome is my personal favorite). I lost track of Modest Mouse by the time the band issued 2015 record Strangers to Ourselves, partly out of laziness, but partly because I hadn't heard anything particularly exciting from the band in years.

Then in late June of this year, Modest Mouse released The Golden Casket, a weirdly engrossing and refreshingly idiosyncratic record full of surprising textures. The band sounds reinvigorated, like Brock and Co. are making music for fun and not to satisfy any range of imposed expectations. There's almost certainly no single on Golden Casket that will garner 93 million YouTube views, and that's perfectly fine. We'll all float on anyway.

Modest Mouse

Express Live (outdoors)

6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3

Opener: The Districts