I distinctly remember when I first listened to Modest Mouse's This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About. My Junior year in college I took a class in London during winter break. I went to Tower Records to grab a bunch of CDs to listen to on the trip before I left. One of these was the aforementioned CD. Once in England, I had a roommate in the hotel we were staying at in Stratford-Upon-Avon who snored like nothing i had ever heard before. Room rattling. The first night he was so loud he woke me up from a dead, jetlaggy sleep. I put in my earphones and gave my new CD a shot. I just remember laying there in this half awake/half asleep trance while I watched the window curtains go from pitch dark to deep blue to early morning before my eyes. All the while this hypnotizing soundtrack kept me paralyzed, eyes wide open on the tiny twin bed. From Dramamine to Ohio to Pretty Sunset, it put me in another world. By the time it was over, the sun was bright enough that it seemed appropriate to wake. I had never listened to Modest Mouse before that night, but in the morning I woke up with a whole new perspective on music. I can pinpoint 5 moments over the last 7 or 8 years that helped mold me into the music fan that I am today. This is perhaps the most vivid.
So, I do not quite have the gall to say that discovering this Metal Hearts CD is anywhere in the same universe as the moment described above, but I can't deny it put me right back on that hard hotel bed at the first chords of the opening track Socialize. It's no Modest Mouse...much mellower and far less abrasive, but the mood it creates is frighteningly similar. I see myself falling asleep to this album a lot over the next several weeks.
Listen on Myspace. Buy the CD on Feb. 21. Go see them when they come to NYC on March 4th. As far as first impressions go, this is about as strong as it gets.