We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank review by Modest Mouse

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  • Released: Mar 20, 2007
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (121 votes)
Modest Mouse: We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank

Sound — 10
Isaac Brock has always been one of my very favorite experimental innovators for music. Since modest mouse released "This is a long drive for someone with nothing to think about" a bizzarre album down to it's very title, he and the band have stood out as a model for Alternative Indie music everywhere. With the last album "Good news for people who love bad news" Modest Mouse finally hit the mainstream as well as indie music. They sold more than 1.5 million copies and carry that success with them. On this new release the big question was, "Have they conformed? Is this just mainstream rock or is it still indie?" This album is indie at it's very very best. From song to song it is sometimes hardly recognizable as the same band. Brock pours in a strange shallow sound on the album's lead song "March inton the sea." They change immediately into a poppy upbeat song called "Dashboard". The album has everything from loud racous rock on "We've got everything." To a warm and sweet acoustic ballad "Missed the Boat." This album has better sound and variation between songs than any album since "Abbey Road" by the Beatles.

Lyrics — 9
"The dashboard melted but we still had the radio." Brock sings with a strange voice on "Dashboar." This is an example of the strange and almost impossible to understand lyrics that Brock loves pitching out. But don't let it fool you, Isaac Brock has a lot to say on this album. "Parting of the Sensory" is almost certainly a political jab at Bush's incapability of "Steering a Ship," or running a country. "We've got everything" is a hidden statement about how there is always more to know so don't ever get too arrogant. Brock has a lot to say on this album and he does it with metaphors, concealed ideals, and bizzare and almost insane muzzings.

Overall Impression — 10
No one since the Beatles have been able to create this connected, interesting, varied, brilliant, and beautiful of an album. "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank," is even more perfect than Radiohead's "Ok Computer." Albeit very different. "Dashboard," "Florida," "We've got Everything" "Education," and "Invisible" are some of the most brilliant songs on the album. There is virtually nothing to dislike on this entire album. Sometimes songs like "Spitting Venom" and "People like Places like People" seem a little monotonous and unenergetic but they are far from bad. I suggest that no matter what it takes, including robbing a bank, you scrounge up the money, and buy this album asap. It is something no indie music lover should live without.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Lazlo Shig
    Bukowski was on "Good news..." but I like how you pointed out how "Spitting Venom" is underrated.