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We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

Modest Mouse

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iTunes Editors' Notes

We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is a gripping and satisfying recording, with skittering tempos, jerky rhythms, and delightful surprises around every quirky corner. Lead singer, guitarist, and gifted songwriter Isaac Brock sounds positively manic on the clattering “March Into the Sea.” “Dashboard” and “Steam Engenius” are funky and undeniably catchy, “Little Motel” manages to be both tender and oddly off balance, and not many singers could make a line like “Someday you will die somehow and something’s gonna steal your carbon” work(from the standout “Parting of the Sensory”). A notable addition to the band on this recording is former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, whose chiming, lyrical style meshes beautifully with Brock’s jagged and idiosyncratic playing. Marr’s contributions help the band create a fuller sound without sacrificing any of the inherent strangeness that makes them so consistently inventive and fascinating. Modest Mouse manage to compromise nothing and still create compelling pop music even as their audience grows, and that’s a feat few contemporary bands can pull off.

Customer Reviews

Modest Mouse's Transatlanticism

I may be slightly biased as an avid Modest Mouse fan... but honestly, this album really is something special! The band has really refined their sound but still manage to slide in some of their classic "insane" moments. The only analogy I can think of to emphasise how much this album has improved on their previous achievements is that they have done a Transatlanticism. Death Cab fans will know where I am coming from as this album was the one where Death Cab finally seemed to hit their peak. Basically this album rocks, plenty of sober moments, but also a decent amount of party tunes ;) Buy it asap MM fans!

Engenius!

Great album, I've been a fan of the band for a short while but some of their songs just didn't appeal to me. I believe this album as a whole has made me appreciate some of the variety Modest Mouse have whether its a slow calming song like Missed the Boat/Little Motel or the unique indy tones from Dashboard, We've Got Everything, People as Places as People etc. They have become one of my favourite bands this year and I think the tracks found within this album are just as good/better than the highlights from their previous efforts.

well..

This album is most probably the worst thing modest mouse have recorded, their best being lonesome crowded west, followed by the moon and antarctica, and then good news, i wont go into the various other pieces theyve released as theyre too disjointed to really compare. anyway, mercers vocal input in 'florida' i found to be really cringeworthy, and it left me thinking 'where are modest mouse?' for a second. fans of the earlier work will most probably feel a little let down, this doesnt feel like the same band for the most part, the band we heard screaming 'DOIN THE COCKROACH, YEAH!' or delivering to us sprawling classics such as 'lounge(closing time)' etc, its been diluted somewhat, but there are still some excellent tracks, with the standout being without doubt 'Spitting Venom'. if you havent heard modest mouse before, give it a go, if you have, buy it and expect to simultaneously feel a little disappointed, whilst enjoying some reasonably catchy songs. I just feel this album finally marks the end of the modest mouse i loved.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Issaquah, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Modest Mouse were one of the most surprising commercial success stories of the new millennium — while their music was by turns taut and elliptical, and the lyrics sometimes cryptic and introspective, the band broke through to the mainstream audience with the platinum-selling Good News for People Who Love Bad News, and they became genuine rock stars at a time when their musical peers remained cult figures. Modest Mouse were founded in 1993 by guitarist and vocalist Isaac Brock, bassist Eric...
Full bio