Posted by: will | April 11, 2007

Modest Mouse…


Modest Mouse “We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank” (Epic)

Buy it at Insound!

You realize how much things have changed when seeing that Modest Mouse’s newest effort, We Were Dead Before We Even Sank, sold 130,000 copies and claimed the #1 Billboard spot in its first week. I remember my first exposure to Modest Mouse ten years ago when they were just making a name for themselves in the indie rock scene. It was the band’s second album, 1997’s Lonesome Crowded West, that saw the band breaking through. I had never really heard anything like Modest Mouse before. Sure it was lumped together as being “indie rock” but there was something so unique about the band. Whatever it was, I was hooked and a fan from the get go.

There is one thing I have always admired about Modest Mouse. Whether it was the epic stylings of the band’s sprawling masterpiece, The Moon & Antarctica, or their mainstream break-through, Good News for People Who Love Bad News, the band maintains a certain familiar feel with each album. Those two albums are completely different but still have that distinct Modest Mouse aura. We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank continues that streak for the band. I am not going to go into a song by song description of We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank. At 14 songs clocking in right around an hour, it is a breathtaking album that truly encompasses every aspect the band has ever shown. Much has been publicized of Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr joining the band but he blends rather well into the band’s sturdy framework. If the band lost some fans after they hit it big, those fans would be well advised to give another listen. Much of We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank recalls the vagabound spirit that pervaded the band’s earlier material. Just go listen to the 8 minute “Spitting Venom” if you do not believe me. There are songs here that bring to mind the band’s indie rock glory days as well as songs that will surely further the mainstream success the band saw on Good News for People Who Love Bad News.

Over the years Modest Mouse has grown a great deal. I am quite sure they have lost their share of the old fans. From signing to a major label to having American Idols performing your song, I can certainly understand the sentiment. However, if those old fans truly paid attention they would see that things really have not changed that much for the band. And they would be ecstatic that a new generation of music listeners are being exposed to such a great band within the mainstream. We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank is quite simply the greatest bridge between the band’s past and present.

RIYL: Talking Heads, Built To Spill, The Shins


Modest Mouse – People As Places As People (mp3)

Modest Mouse – Fire It Up (mp3)

Modest Mouse – Dashboard (video)



  1. I don’t think that this band can be blamed for selling out simply because they signed with a major label and enjoyed mainstream success. Their sound and songwriting hasn’t changed and it’s fantastic as it’s always been, that’s what really counts.

  2. agreed!

  3. “Parting of the Sensory” is an incredible song.

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