The concept of the Great American Frontier haunts Modest Mouse’s music — even if it’s a twisted version of it. Panoramas of vast, dusty deserts, both brutal and beautiful, streak across each of the indie rock group's records, like blurred landscapes glimpsed through a car window. The indifferent evils of consumerism, the mystical fantasies of religion and the pessimism those engender made Modest Mouse one of the most fascinating bands to survive the indie rock bubble of the mid '90s. While it’s not the act it was back then, Modest Mouse has enjoyed a career arc remarkably invulnerable to the march of time: The band’s fallen some, sure, but it has yet to careen off any cliffs. Inside Modest Mouse’s songs, the bubbly rhythms of dance music are rendered crazed and anxious; the rock structures are filtered through hardcore, influenced by twee pop, and move like an updated, hookier version of post-punk; the themes are distinctly literary, sharply fatalistic and frighteningly prophetic. This is why the band still sounds relevant, even modern. Pain, oppression and greed don’t have expiration dates.