4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another more than solid album
It's time to freak out.
In the privacy of your own home, on the bus surrounded by several OAPs, in the build up to the gig where the DJ finally plays a song you like, whatever situation, most of the material on this record, Modest Mouse's sixth, will make your mind explode due to high pressure, make your limbs looser, give you the confidence to go a bit...
Published on 21 Mar 2007 by Mr. J. Milton
2 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An album of Modest Mouse tics, but without any heart.
A mediocre Modest Mouse album I can't recommend at all. Try his previous album, or any other really. His worst album since Sad Sappy Sucker (his worst album).
Only one track stands out from the telephoned-in shouty Modest Mouse performance, which is "Dashboard", which you'll probably be able to download for free somewhere. So save yourself some money, just buy...
Published on 20 Jun 2007 by Useless Article
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another more than solid album,
It's time to freak out.
In the privacy of your own home, on the bus surrounded by several OAPs, in the build up to the gig where the DJ finally plays a song you like, whatever situation, most of the material on this record, Modest Mouse's sixth, will make your mind explode due to high pressure, make your limbs looser, give you the confidence to go a bit wild.
80% of this is true.
Because chances are, after several listens, as the album gradually grows on you, you'll be shouting at a rapid pace the words "Somehow you will die someday and someone's gonna steal your carbon!" during one of the final tracks on this record, 'Parting Of The Sensory'. It's one of the stronger moments on this rock solid album, one that will disappoint some possibly, but if you're a newcomer to this band, or simply someone with an open mind, this album could take over your life in a matter of a week. And those lyrics that you'll be singing are immensely powerful, meant to be sung in groups of fifty. But if that doesn't happen and someone tells you to turn the sound down, simply state: "Sorry, it's just an impulse". Because chances are, this album will control your body in ways that not many others can. It could change your mood in a matter of 1 song, to a sinister yet joyous one, or maybe it might just turn you into a maniac.
It's the vocals of Isaac Brock that do it, his furious stance on the modern day comes across and gets in your head like you have a mind of a toddler, learning everything you see and hear instantly. It's his raging confidence that makes this album stand out from the pack of American alternative albums, along with the magnificent backbone of the band overall, including that of Johnny Marr, whose presence doesn't quite stand out in this record as it did in previous records, but his genius is still obviously a contribution.
Single "Dashboard" is an example of a moment on the album which could either make a jubilant impression or one that will be ignored forever, a track that could be skipped straight away by those many fans who haven't taken to the sound of it very well so far, but those that believe that it's an instantaneous catchy affair will be taken under the rest of the record's wing at ease, because "Dashboard" may be a bit too commercial, a bit too unlike Wolf Parade, but it's still got the spirit of a thousand enthusiastic musicians giving it their all. However whatever your impression on some of the material on this record, there will be one song which you cannot ignore, simply cannot let pass by. "Spitting Venom". An 8 and a half minute epic which energizes your mind more and more as it increases in animation audacity. "Hold on to what you need/We've got a knack for messed up history" are more powerful words than they could possibly be in any other situation, on any other record, sung by any other vocalist. It is quite possibly as close to perfection as you can reach with music in 2007, the best thing I've heard so far this year? Quite possibly. As they personify this "ship" that is sinking, chances are, you will fall in love.
And there's more to find in this record that seems like it lasts an eternity. It may be an eternity, but it's an eternity of emotional joy for the listener. Despite moments of defying bonkers music, there are times where you can sit back and shed a tear. "Little Motel" is a five minute apology to a loved one, and as the guitars a prominent, they are the feature of the song that will get you weepy. "Missed The Boat" is another one that could get you holding your tears back, a highlight of the record, The Shins' lead singer James Mercer adds in some backing vocals to add to the already unstoppable spirit of the record, and then the final note of " Oh, what useless tools ourselves" fades away, you can safely reassure yourself that this band are somewhat genius' of their time, their records grow on your more and more, lots of records do these days, but there is something special about this record. Something that you probably won't find in any other record this year or the next. The odd moment of perfection.
Wrap it up and keep it warm.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They've got everything!,
I must admit that throwing this album on for the first time was a bit of a nerve-wrecking experience as I have absolutely fallen in love with their back catalog and didn't want to be dissapointed.
Thankfully the first track is brilliant and catchy enough that all my fears were immediately eased. I did find myself listening out for which parts of the album were Marr's or Mercer's being a Smiths and Shins fan as well. However with the second listen it all came together perfectly.
The stand out tracks for me are Dashboard (single material), We've Got Everything (lyrically brilliant) and the insanely catchy Shins-esque Missed the Boat. Yet, like all Modest Mouse albums it can only be truly appreciated when listened to from start to finish. No other band around hold your attention quite like Isaac Brock and the boys.
The rapid changes of pace from crazed pop perfection to sleepy meandering riffage all held together with bizarrely enthralling lyrics can only be truly appreciated after multiple listens. I have only had this album two days and listened to it 4 times and I can quite confidently assert that if you were a fan before you'll have 14 more resons to love them afterwards.
If you've never listened to them, this is a great introduction to one of the best, most inventive bands around at the moment. A word of warning though if you fall in love with Modest Mouse then you better have some money in the old bank account because you won't be able to resist their other, equally brilliant albums.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its never too late,
This was my first Modest Mouse CD, I have to say being a fan of Pavement and the Minutemen that this became instantly accesible. There are a few immediate stand out tracks but the more you listen to it the more it grows on you. I would recommend this highly. I have now gone into their back catalogue and purchased Good News for People Who Love Bad News and have to say I wonder why I never bought any of it earlier!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this album, you won't be disappointed.,
I came across Modest Mouse whilst working in America back in 2005. It was a song called float on, on the good news for people who love bad news album that made me love this band. I came back to the UK and everybody thought I was mad as I went out and brought every album they have ever released.
You can listen to this band over and over and you don't seem to get tired of it! This album is no disappointment and I personally feel it's worth every penny. Only thing I can say about Modest Mouse is people find Isaac Brocks voice an acquired taste. It's amazing that this band have been around since 1993 and its only now they are starting to be played on mainstream UK radio such as BBC radio one.
Get your credit card out and treat yourself to some amazing music, if you like it buy their previous albums as you will not be disappointed!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I played it twelve times in three days,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I came to this album because of the Marr connection having never heard Modest Mouse before. I didn't think I'd find an album as good as this ever again. I was wrong. Album of the year. I'll check out the other albums by Modest Mouse now.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...,
Modest Mouse have been around long enough now to know that you can't just write an album like clockwork every couple of years and expect it to sell just like the last one. You have to keep adding new things into the melting pot and changing or building on your style, only then do I, anyway, regard an outfit as a real band. I must admit I was a bit worried when I heard of the addition of The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, because frankly, it sounded a bit contrived.
Lucky, my fears were ill founded and that wasn't the case. And, coincidently, this is a brilliant album. Best tracks, for me, are the angry opener 'March Into The Sea', 'Parting Of The Sensory', 'Fly Trapped In A Jar' and 'Spitting Venom'. It amazes me how different this record is to 'Good News...' and that isn't a bad thing.
They won't ever have as much charm as they did in their early days, but they are far from comfortable and writing tepid, transparent music that many bands do once they reach this stage. If you like even some of Modest Mouses' old material then I would give this album a listen, because it's better than the majority of British bands' output at the minute.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sinking to the other side,
With their last album, Modest Mouse came closer to the mainstream than ever before. They had an MTV video, for crying out loud.
Apparently that rankled the band. because the follow-up "We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank" is more densely bizarre and quirky. There's a token single near the beginning, but you might as well skip over it to the high-octane rock and blurry psychedelic layers of sound.
It opens with a skittering accordion solo. But soon it's melodramatic tsunami of raging riffs, with Isaac Brock howling madly, "Well, treat me like disease/Like the rats and the fleas," and faux-laughing. Someone sounds like he's into the bottle, and has decided to scare everybody with what he found there.
It's a very weird intro, which is sound even stranger next to the weak, bouncy powerpop of "Dashboard." That one seems to be made specifically so the album will have a single, so the band can focus on what they really want. Once that single is out of the way, Brock and Co. segue into the dark percussion-pop of "Fire It Up," which is a taste of what's to come.
The rest of the music sticks to the off-kilter quality of the first and third songs -- rattly ballads, meandering high-octane rock, shimmering psychedelica, smoothly haunting pop, and hard-rockers that shift into ambient balladry.... or vice versa. It ends with the catchy, quirky finale -- "Invisible," which opens with fiery, tight riffs, but cascades into darker territory after the halfway mark.
I don't see how Brock and Co. could have become more UNLIKE an MTV band without leaving behind every shred of their previous sound. Sometimes "We Were Dead Before..." can be catchy, but it doesn't really want to make you dance -- it wants to tangle you in its odd melodies, weird singing, and oblique lyrics about flies, tails and death. Lots of death.
Those weird melodies are what ties the album together -- Modest Mouse sticks to fiery electric riffs, bass and drums, flavoured with maracas, accordion, keyboard and handclaps. But they hardly ever use their instruments in a "normal" way -- just when you think you know how the song will go, it changes style, tempo or tune. Heck, "Fly Trapped in a Jar" opens with a guitar imitating a fly.
However, it's the deceptively quiet "Parting Of The Sensory" that really shows how determined they are to be unique. It starts as a folky little song, blossoms into a weird ambient-violin pop song, and finally explodes into a thumping acoustic dance number that cuts off in mid-word.
Isaac Brock is just as dramatic and unpredictable as the music -- he yowls, he sings, he roars, he rambles, and he laughs (", "Ah ha HA! Ah ha HA!") like a demented sailor. His uneven style certainly fits the tone of the lyrics, which sound like a depressed Lewis Carroll wrote them ("We had docked in dark, so we didn't read what the sign read/Though simple enough, it was demure and tough/"The ground needs to be fed").
Modest Mouse's "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank" is a moody, colourful extravaganza of unpredictable rock'n'roll, though it suffers from a weak beginning. Definitely worth hearing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable,
I was not expecting to like this album. I'd only heard Modest Mouse's softer songs (like "Little Motel", and "The World At Large") and was expecting more of the same, but what I got was some heavy-rock meets indie-pop music, but the sound of this album is far less generic than I may be making it seem. Modest Mouse have a unique sound, explored well in this album. Each song is incredible in its own right; if you don't like it at first, try it again in a few days. The nautical theme is definitely noticeable but matches the songs well. This goes up their with one of my favourite albums I've bought over my lifetime! Don't miss your chance to buy it!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so modest!,
WOW! I hadn't taken much notice of Modest Mouse, and did'nt know anyone who did, so they just never came my way. I decided to give this album a listen because of the good reviews it was getting, WOW, this is fantastic.
For anyone who loves; Talking Heads, Clap your Hands, Bright Eyes and Arcade Fire, wear your shoes when listening to this.....it's gonna blow your socks off!
Musically, lyrically, vocally, this is the BEST album for many, many moons!
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modest Mouse return...,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
2004's 'The Good News for People Who Love Bad News' made its way into the US top 20, while Modest Mouse appeared to become something of an institution in the year's between. Former Red House Painter Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon) recorded an album of MM-covers, older albums were reissued, band members came and went, and most surprising of all, former Smiths-member Johnny Marr joined the band. Marr has form, having joined another indie band Marion around the time of 'Miyako Hideway' - sadly that was a deeply average record, as has been a lot of Marr's work since 'Strangeways, Here We Come.' This is clearly the best project Marr has been involved with since The The's last decent album 'Dusk' in 1992 - Marr and the rest of his new band appearing to possess the chemistry lacking from many of his projects. It's also quite handy that The Shins' James Mercer is on hand for backing vocals, 'We Were Dead...' feeling like an album that is as good as it could be. Everything and the kitchen sink has been chucked in...
Shockingly as well as becoming something of an EMO-institution on an international scale, they've now topped the US charts - which oddly must make it the most commercially succesful project Marr has been involved with? (please don't mention Marr's tenure with The Pretenders in the late 80s or his dire performance with Simple Minds as they murdered 'Summertime Blues'!). Isaac Brock is often compared to Black Francis/Frank Black, which is slightly apparent on the opener 'March Into the Sea', maybe Black Francis doing the Go-Betweens? I think Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes isn't a million miles away too; this doesn't sound like chart topping material, which only makes it greater..
Upcoming single 'Dashboard' sounds like a fantastic single, the guitar work weirdly as tight as someone like Franz Ferdinand - which holds true for the catchy 'Florida', 'Education', 'Fly...' and the highlight 'We've Got Everything.' The funky guitar thing that Marr was moving towards with tracks like 'The Draize Train' and 'Money Changes Everything' and to lesser effect with parts of 'Dusk' and Electronic becomes apparent on tracks like 'Fire It Up' and 'We've Got Everything.' 'Fire It Up' reminds me of Midnight Oil for some reason, perhaps it's just me...
The Elliot Smith-inflected side of the band finds its way at the core of the album, with the double whammy of 'Parting of the Sensory' and the gorgeous 'Missed the Boat.' Comparisons have been made to Marr's work on 'Hatful of Hollow', which is not that wide of the mark - play this against Morrissey's last slab of stock indie and it's clear who has fared the worser. 'Fly Trapped in a Jar' reminds me of Talking Heads (who Marr worked with) if they were a bit more barking, some great surf guitar in there, and the kind of chanting refrain that has to be encouraged - this is how I expect the Arcade Fire to sound when people cite Byrne (instead I get 'Heaven Up Here'-over-phrasing, Grant Lee Buffalo, The Waterboys, and more Bunnymen!). 'Fly...' veers off into Josef K territory halfway through, Brock bizarrely rapping - a definite highlight and on the strength of this song alone, I hope Marr sticks around and the band record another album together.
'Little Motel' sounds like the kind of song 'The OC' or 'Dawson's Creek' would use at a key point in a storyline, though maybe it's more Cameron Crowe movie territory? "You complete me..." and all that shindig. 'Steam Engenius' sounds like it has a working knowledge of Violent Femmes and certain Tom Waits records, which is fine by me. 'Spitting Venom' opens as a kind of alt country style acoustic piece before the band come in, the song veering off into an 8 and a half minute epic that might just be one of the best track Modest Mouse has recorded. 'People as Places as People' sounds like David McComb fronting Midnight Oil, which I can't see as a bad thing. As I said...maybe it's just me? Closer 'Invisible' has a great fade in (maybe reminding you of 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others'?) before the song comes in, a raucous angular thing that takes the album out in a suitably manic style. Great stuff...
'We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank' feels like the best Modest Mouse album yet and is certainly the best use of the great Johnny Marr in decades. I wonder if they'll be like the Shins live, i.e. unable to replicate the great studio sound of their latest album? Time will tell, in the meantime, Marr, Mercer and Modest Mouse sounds like a great idea. Let's just hope this doesn't give Noel Gallagher the idea that he should join the New Pornographers...
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