steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion

Sun Kil Moon

"Tiny Cities" CD

Caldo Verde Records

Genre: folk-pop

May 2006

Mark Kozelek crafts his own destiny. We'll get another Red House Painters album when he decides we deserve it; for now we'll have to survive on Tiny Cities, an eleven song album of Modest Mouse covers made under his Sun Kil Moon moniker. You read it right, Modest Mouse covers. Somewhat predictably, Kozelek's dreary folk style makes these songs pretty indistinguishable from their source material; often it's only the lyrics that remain intact (see "Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes"). Unfortunately for Kozelek (and us), his treatments of these songs sometimes result in them only becoming far more inoffensive and far less melodic (see, once again, "Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes"). As a result, the most immediately successful songs are those that stick most tightly to the originals, including the most impressive "Neverending Math Equation" and fairly memorable "Dramamine." Dark "Convenient Parking" is also enjoyable, as is the exceedingly mellow "Grey Ice Water". As you dig into Tiny Cities, the separation between these songs and Modest Mouse's originals becomes far less relevant; these have really become Kozelek's own compositions. By the time "Ocean Breathes Salty" closes the record off, you'll have sorted out how you feel about Tiny Cities - hopefully you'll be won over by its solemn, collected charm. This isn't for Modest Mouse fans (though "Neverending Math Equation" and "Dramamine" are worth scoping out for those purposes), but it's interesting material for Kozelek and Red House Painters devotees.


Fun Fact: Isn't this whole album something of a fun fact?

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by Amazon, released 2005]