Sun Kil Moon
"Tiny Cities" CD
Caldo Verde Records
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
Isn't this whole album
something of a fun fact?
[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by
Amazon, released 2005]