Viewport width =
March 26, 2007 | by  | in Music |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

God, was I relieved to hear Isaac Brock’s maniacal laugh.

We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sunk, Modest Mouse’s fifth album came after much finger-twiddling in anticipation. And it did not fail to fully blow me away.

With another verbose title, We Were Dead is their third Epic (Sony) release. While they began on indie labels, 2004’s super successful Good News For People Who Love Bad News saw there was no going back to their roots.

Mainstream radio liked them.

The band has doubled in size since its beginnings, and instrumentation on We Were Dead includes horns, strings, organs and accordion. It also sees the return of original drummer Jeremiah Green and the addition of Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, and The Shins’ James Mercer lending backing vocals for a few tracks.

The first few listens of this new album had me smiling smugly, believing they had reverted back to the old erratic, spastic, often inaccessible Modest Mouse I fell in love with, but the more I listen, the catchier it gets – in the radio friendly way.

Despite this, it’s still Modest Mouse – so it’s still incredible. It’s full of pop hooks, their signatory jangley, dance-inducing guitar, teamed with Brocks rambling, erratic, paranoid vocals. Tracks like ‘Florida’ show they still pull off their signatory clashing, bashing madness then quickly contrast it by dropping to their introspective, melodic, bordering sinister side.

The other signature sound that was particularly used in Good News, and makes strong appearances on We Were Dead, is their danceable, upbeat, syncopated indie-pop such as ‘Dashboard.’

And, like in the vein of Moon and Antarctica there are a few softer, introspective moments, such as the dreamy, restrained, shoe-gazing, sounds of ‘Steam Engenius’. From opening ‘March into the Sea’ to closing ‘Invisible’, We Were Dead is another fine, weird, varied, outstanding release – albeit more accessible than their earlier work their legend is founded on. Either way, if it makes it to the cursed top-forty list, I will be surprised, but will try to fight those negative feelings – as a band this good deserve all the success they can get.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. An (im)possible dream: Living Wage for Vic Books
  2. Salient and VUW tussle over Official Information Act requests
  3. One Ocean
  4. Orphanage voluntourism a harmful exercise
  5. Interview with Grayson Gilmour
  6. Political Round Up
  7. A Town Like Alice — Nevil Shute
  8. Presidential Address
  9. Do You Ever Feel Like a Plastic Bag?
  10. Sport
1

Editor's Pick

In Which a Boy Leaves

: - SPONSORED - I’ve always been a fairly lucky kid. I essentially lucked out at birth, being born white, male, heterosexual, to a well off family. My life was never going to be particularly hard. And so my tale begins, with another stroke of sheer luck. After my girlfriend sugge