Experimental Music Love

January 8, 2008

Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 20/03/07

Filed under: Album Reviews — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 9:37 pm

Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

2007 has been rather disappointing so far for the North American indie scene. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s new record was a tedious trip through too many ideas trying to find coherence; Wincing the Night Away was good though nothing compared to Chutes Too Narrow for The Shins, and the less said about the overblown, pretentious ramblings of Neon Bible, the better (My body is a cage? Fuck off.). So a lot rested on the shoulders of Isaac Brock to create something special to make for this disappointment and keep the scene’s respectability. Thank the indie Lord for Isaak Brock.

Modest Mouse are universally acknowledged to be one of the greatest bands in the world, and this record only goes further to prove that. Following the usual MM formula (lots of songs, one big one, lots of variety), this comfortably sits alongside contemporary classics like The Moon and Antarctica and The Lonesome Crowded West.

can do in their sleep.

New recruit, Johnny Marr, is a revelation, with his delicate guitar work evident on the more sedate moments that keep this LP grounded and meaningful. ‘Fire It Up’ is astonishing at conveying the more emotional aesthetics of the band, and is one of the most beautiful songs you’ll ever hear.

The two highlights of this affair are the gentle ‘Little Motel’ and the altogether more heart racing ‘Florida’. The former’s lullaby style immaculately shows off why Marr is considered a pop genius, his stunning intricacies weaving around Brock’s softer vocals. And ‘Florida’ has one of the greatest choruses known to rock.

Merging their more recent pop approach with their more experimental early work. ‘We Were Dead…’ is an album by a band maturing into the legends that so many think they are. Before this, they had nothing left to prove, and yet they’ve still created quite probably the album of the year. The greatest band of this generation? Natch.




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