Alive and Kicking: Modest Mouse's We Were Dead Before the Boat Even Sank

The fifth album from Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Boat Even Sank finds us in the same places we've been before. Bummed out, pissed off, and crafting some of the finest indie music of our generation.

Much the same subject matter (grief, depression, etc.) is mined as in the band's four previous albums "Bang your head like a gong/
'Cause it's filled with all wrong/Ah ha ha! Clang, clang, clang!" but given the success of Good News for People Who like Bad News, Epic Records gave Modest Mouse the opportunity to showcase their talents. They delivered. The boys sound more cohesive and cleaner than ever before. Frontman Isaac Brock's growls are growlier. The sonic layers are deeper and the musical twists are twistier.

The addition of guitarist Johnny Marr enlivens the already superb and nuanced guitar work and guest spots from The Shins' James Mercer make the album that much more brilliant. Brock's lyrics are in their finest form. Wordy, dark, and whimsical, each track is emotionally charged without being whiny or adolescent. Instead, these songs deal with feelings of isolation, depression, and confusion with matter-of-fact sobriety acknowledging that life goes on despite ourselves.

Longtime fans will be pleased to know that the band is as dour as ever. Those looking for another "Float On" may be disappointed as many of the tracks on We Were Dead are less accessible than much of Good News. The nearest pop single is Dashboard, the opening track. Everyone will be pleased to know that sing along suicide choruses abound. 2007 has been a great year for music and this album may just help make it a landmark. With outstanding songwriting, flawless musicianship, and brilliant production We Were Dead is certain to become one of Modest Mouse's seminal albums. We Were Dead Before The Boat Even Sank is scheduled to drop March 20. - Highly Recommended

Listen Now -
Modest Mouse - Dashboard

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