Modest Mouse: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (2007)

Modest Mouse
We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank; 2007
Epic Records
My Rating: 60/100
Despite the nautically-doomed title, the Mouse proves with their fifth album
proper that they will indeed float on. Nowhere near as heavy with the weight
of mortality as their previous offering, this is a meaty power-pop record
with the standard Mouse-eccentrities turned up to 11. Themes are varying yet
unified, meaning the record doesn’t suffer from the monotony that sunk GOOD
NEWS,and there’s even a moment or two of jubilant quasi-optimism
(“Dashboard”, “Missed the Boat”). Unfortunately, the overall experience
suffers from an extreme lopsidedness that will most likely have you
switching to something else after track 7. In the final analysis, though, WE
WERE DEAD BEFORE THE SHIP EVEN SANK is a nice recovery from the near
disaster that was GOOD NEWS. I’ll be looking forward to the next full-length
offering from the Issaquah’s finest.
Cohesion (5/5)
Concept (3.5/5)
Consequence (4.5/5)
Consistency (3/5)
Tracks:
1. March into the Sea (4/5)
2. Dashboard (5/5)
3. Fire It Up (5/5)
4. Florida (4.5/5)
5. Parting of the Sensory (3.5/5)
6. Missed the Boat (5/5)
7. We’ve Got Everything (4/5)
8. Fly Trapped in a Jar (3/5)
9. Education (3/5)
10. Little Motel (3.5/5)
11. Steam Engenius (2.5/5)
12. Spitting Venom (3/5)
13. People as Places as People (4/5)
14. invisible (2.5/5)

Modest_mouse_2007_albumModest Mouse
We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank; 2007
Epic Records

My Rating: 60/100

Despite the nautically-doomed title, the Mouse proves with their fifth album proper that they will indeed float on. Nowhere near as heavy with the weight of mortality as their previous offering, this is a meaty power-pop record with the standard Mouse-eccentrities turned up to 11. Themes are varying yet unified, meaning the record doesn’t suffer from the monotony that sunk GOOD NEWS,and there’s even a moment or two of jubilant quasi-optimism (“Dashboard”, “Missed the Boat”). Unfortunately, the overall experience suffers from an extreme lopsidedness that will most likely have you switching to something else after track 7. In the final analysis, though, WE WERE DEAD BEFORE THE SHIP EVEN SANK is a nice recovery from the near disaster that was GOOD NEWS. I’ll be looking forward to the next full-length offering from the Issaquah’s finest.

Cohesion (5/5)
Concept (3.5/5)
Consequence (4.5/5)
Consistency (3/5)

Tracks:

1. March into the Sea (4/5)
2. Dashboard (5/5)
3. Fire It Up (5/5)
4. Florida (4.5/5)
5. Parting of the Sensory (3.5/5)
6. Missed the Boat (5/5)
7. We’ve Got Everything (4/5)
8. Fly Trapped in a Jar (3/5)
9. Education (3/5)
10. Little Motel (3.5/5)
11. Steam Engenius (2.5/5)
12. Spitting Venom (3/5)
13. People as Places as People (4/5)
14. invisible (2.5/5)

Modest Mouse: Good News for People Who Love Bad News (2004)

MODEST MOUSE
GOOD NEWS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BAD NEWS
EPIC; 2003
MY RATING: 38/100
Isaac Brock and I would not see eye-to-eye on a lot of things; we view the world through exceedingly different lenses. However, as an artist, I nonetheless
respect him, and really enjoy the overall sound of his band. I’ve been spinning Mouse records since ’97 or so, and the first four years of the band’s
recorded output providing something of a soundtrack to the aimless nights of my youth. His early records in particular, though bitter and a bit twisted, bore
an indelible melodic sweetness and sympathy underneath the rough exterior that belied a deep and unique soulfulness on his part. What I’m trying to say is
that I speak as a fan. However, I’m sad to say that MM’s fourth album is a monotonous screed of depraved bitterness and metaphysical angst, with the soul of
it all and the sense of humor markedly absent. It’s not like I haven’t tried. I REALLY dig “Float On,” and I chuckled when I saw it covered in a FORD
commercial on American Idol. Similiary, “Blame it on the Tetons” is as pathetically righteous a track as “Custom Concern” or “Trailer Trash,” so I gotta
respect. But that’s about it. “Ocean Breathes Salty” might have been a strong b-side, but it’s just a bit too disonant to register as single-quality Mouse.
“The Good Times Are Killing Me” sounds promising, but fails to deliver in the way “Styrofoam Boots” did on THE LONESOME CROWDED WEST. You can have the rest;
there’s just not a whole lot here to get excited about. A truly disappointing record.
TRACKS:
1.Horn Intro
2. The World at Large (3/5)
3. Float On (5/5)
4. Ocean Breathes Salty (3/5)
5. Dig Your Grave
6. Bury Me With It (2/5)
7. Dance Hall (2.5/5)
8. Bukowski (2.5/5)
9. This Devil’s Workday (2/5)
10. The View (2/5)
11. Satin in a Coffin (2/5)
12. Interlude (Milo)
13. Blame it on the Tetons (4.5/5)
14. Black Cadillacs (3/5)
15. One Chance (2.5/5)
16. The Good Times Are Killing Me (4/5)
mouse-goodnewsMODEST MOUSE
GOOD NEWS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BAD NEWS
EPIC; 2003

MY RATING: 38/100

Isaac Brock and I would not see eye-to-eye on a lot of things; we view the world through exceedingly different lenses. However, as an artist, I nonetheless respect him, and really enjoy the overall sound of his band. I’ve been spinning Mouse records since ’97 or so, and the first four years of the band’s recorded output providing something of a soundtrack to the aimless nights of my youth. His early records in particular, though bitter and a bit twisted, bore an indelible melodic sweetness and sympathy underneath the rough exterior that belied a deep and unique soulfulness on his part. What I’m trying to say is that I speak as a fan. However, I’m sad to say that MM’s fourth album is a monotonous screed of depraved bitterness and metaphysical angst, with the soul of it all and the sense of humor markedly absent. It’s not like I haven’t tried. I REALLY dig “Float On,” and I chuckled when I saw it covered in a FORD commercial on American Idol. Similiary, “Blame it on the Tetons” is as pathetically righteous a track as “Custom Concern” or “Trailer Trash,” so I gotta respect. But that’s about it. “Ocean Breathes Salty” might have been a strong b-side, but it’s just a bit too disonant to register as single-quality Mouse. “The Good Times Are Killing Me” sounds promising, but fails to deliver in the way “Styrofoam Boots” did on THE LONESOME CROWDED WEST. You can have the rest; there’s just not a whole lot here to get excited about. A truly disappointing record.
TRACKS:
1.Horn Intro
2. The World at Large (3/5)
3. Float On (5/5)
4. Ocean Breathes Salty (3/5)
5. Dig Your Grave
6. Bury Me With It (2/5)
7. Dance Hall (2.5/5)
8. Bukowski (2.5/5)
9. This Devil’s Workday (2/5)
10. The View (2/5)
11. Satin in a Coffin (2/5)
12. Interlude (Milo)
13. Blame it on the Tetons (4.5/5)
14. Black Cadillacs (3/5)
15. One Chance (2.5/5)
16. The Good Times Are Killing Me (4/5)