We were all waiting with baited breath for this new Modest Mouse record for a long time, and suddenly the prospect of the former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr standing alongside Isaac was almost too much to handle. Then finally it happened. Modest Mouse’s tenth album, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, arrived and all was good in the world.
Those expecting a return to the sound of early Modest Mouse from albums like Lonesome Crowded West and Moon and Antarctica will be a little disappointed, as this continues in the vein that Good News for People that Love Bad News did, with Epic hoping that it would have its own ‘Float On‘ success story. The first single ‘Dashboard’ is undeniably catchy and Marr’s influence does come through strongly, but the rest of the album is just incredible.
Brock’s songwriting, with wry, beautiful, yet still very cryptic lyrics are a little more barked-out than previous albums, showing he still has the raw passion for music that he has always had. ‘Little Motel‘ is he quieter, mellower track with the suitably dark subject matter, whilst ‘Missed the Boat‘ is the happy sing-along track with strong harmonies.
I do have to admit. I am a massive Modest Mouse fan and obviously may be a little biased towards them, but for the first time, they have made an album with tracks on it I really don’t like. ‘Florida’ and ‘We Got Everything‘ seem so much weaker compared to anything they’ve ever done before. Having said that, the rest is absolutely cracking and they couldn’t have produced a finer record with as many soon to be classics if they had tried any harder.
And I will always be a fan of bands whose singer sticks up for people getting hurt at their live shows. I hope the guy being a tit in the front row at the Royal Albert Hall really did get the shit kicked out of him like Isaac said he would.