Records - Modest Mouse (3 stars)

Modest Mouse

We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank (Epic)


There are certain bands that make sense only on record, and there are certain bands that only make sense live. Modest Mouse are a truly odd beast in that they have never completely fit either live or on record. They have, however, on occasion, been utterly amazing.

They’ve made pretences to ‘breaking through’ in the US - which has meant an appearance on The OC and a single, the tremendous ‘Float On’ bothering the US charts - but remain a truly out-there outfit.

This, their fifth album - bolstered by the addition of Johnny Marr as a full-time member - does little to bring them any closer to the shore. When they get all dirgy and Tom Waits on us as on ‘Parting of the Sensory’, they get ugly and beautiful, but Isaac Brock’s canine yelp means the listener can never quite settle in and enjoy their rapacious grooves fully.

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