Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
Well, as we pass the halfway mark, the decisions are getting so much harder! “Why?”, i hear you cry – well, it’s quite simple – the top five albums are some of the strongest albums you are ever likely to hear…perhaps not in my all-time top-10, but at least in my top fifty…and that’s saying something!
Modest Mouse have posed quite a dilemma for me, as recently, i have not been able to get enough of this album – for the past two weeks, only this and Radiohead have been played in my car…and i’ve been doing a lot of driving!!!
Therefore, it is strange that i have only put it at number five, and the reason for this, is that when i first heard ‘We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank’, i did not think it was a good album – i could not get into it…i didn’t like Issac Brock’s voice, i didn’t like the style of lyrics, and i thought it was way too long…
So how did i change my mind? I guess, something just clicked in my head – i gave the album another go, and i fell in love with it!!! Now, Issac’s voice sounded raw and edgy, rather than out-of-place and weird; the lyrics made sense, instead of sounding like random words strung together; and i realised that all the songs were strong on the album.
Now, from what i have read, this album has proved to be quite controversial amongst the Modest Mouse faithful, with some stating that the band have now gone too commercial, and that the album is just bad – too different from the older material! My finger is tending to point towards Johnny Marr’s influence, as you can certainly hear his distinctive guitar sound on the album…but that improves the music in my opinion. I like the fact that the songs sound like they do – i often find myself singing along with them in the car – and the band sound like they are on top form.
There are so many strong songs on this album, that i would basically be writing out the tracklisting if i wrote them down, but i love ‘Fly Trapped In A Jar’ and ‘Invisible’…
It could be argued, when trying to find negatives with the album, that it is perhaps a bit too long, for example, ‘Parting of the Sensory’ and ‘Spitting Venom’ take a while to get into their groove, which can be a bit annoying when you want to get to the best parts of the song, which often come half-way through. Similarly, i find ‘Fire It Up’ a bit tedious after a while – i can put up with it, but i often find myself skipping it, as it doesn’t really go anywhere…it just plods along!!!
These criticisms are valid, but can easily be overlooked, purely because the rest of the album is so strong!!! So no matter what anyone else says, i reckon this is a great Modest Mouse album…and one hell of a listen when you get into it!!!