MODEST MOUSE / WE WERE DEAD BEFORE THE SHIP EVEN SANK

Well what do you know, it’s Thursday again and that means it’s time for another look back into the past and see what was coming out this time years ago. This one is an album I’ve been looking forward to looking back at and for great reason. Washington based indie rockers, Modest Mouse released ‘We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank’ a whole ten years ago, which is enough to make any of us feel old, but 2017 seems to be the year that keeps on having that effect due to the excellent quality of indie music released in 2007. What a time it was. This is also during the time when The Smiths guitarist and indie icon Johnny Marr had joined the band to fill in for previous guitar player Dann Gallucci.

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One of the most brilliant qualities of this, their fifth studio album, its track list and Modest Mouse on a whole is that none of it ages. If released today this would be a compelling addition to todays music scene and with their animalistic and unique approach to performance and their hellishly catchy riffs, Modest Mouse just work well anywhere, any time. ‘Dashboard’ remains one of their most popular and always a dance floor filler when played at any great indie night, if you know of any that is. With one hell of a riff, and aggressive vocals that invite you to shout along, it remains one of the catchiest songs I think I’ve ever heard and the repeat button is best friends with this one as once is just never enough. ‘We’ve Got Everything’ also stands out as favourite due to the guitar picking and drum sound, alongside its basic structure that builds throughout, making subtle repetition so appealing and exciting. ‘Fire It Up’ is a much cooler track and we lose a little of the aggression here and it stands as edgy and cool, which is perhaps the opposite of what the rest of the album really attempts to represent. ‘Parting Of The Sensory’ features a chaotic last couple of minutes with clapping and a loud group participation point which is always fun to throw on sometimes. Each track has something great about it and whenever this record gets thrown on, it’s a journey through every style and attitude towards music you can consider, all with a nautical theme.

I always said that the one thing this record didn’t have is ‘Float On’, featured op the previous album to this, ‘Good News For People Who Love Bad News’, simply because the addition of their most famous and possibly greatest track is the only thing that could move this album from a 97% perfect to a full 100%.

Modest Mouse are currently touring the US and you can find dates and venues right here.

Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)

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