- The Fruit Bats
On Echolocation, the debut album by the young Chicago outfit the Fruit Bats, Deck and front man Eric Johnson, himself a member of latter-day Red Red Meat offshoot Califone, manage a similar trick, but seemingly in reverse: bundling disparate shards of rustic roots-rock debris and slippery psych-pop reverberations into a package closely resembling a pop record. Throughout, Deck and Johnson never let the backwoods doodling get too far away from them, keeping the sound effects and jamming potential to a handsome minimum.
Of course, approaching the problem from this end, rather than Modest Mouse's, practically guarantees a less cohesive and ultimately shallower result, and Echolocation rarely reveals the sonic depths or emotional reserves Antarctica practically wallowed in. But in the crowded roots-rock field, it's an effective solution to a common problem, and in any field a pretty good way to make the otherworldly obey gravity.