Review Summary: "We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank" will please the ears of old and new Modest Mouse listeners alike. With its combination of complex lyrics and an edgy sound, Modest Mouse may have released their best record ever.
Yes, it's finally here. After pushed-back release dates and other set backs, "We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank" has finally hit store shelves. Is it a more complete "Moon and Antarctica", or another "Good New For People Who Love Bad News" - a great album in it's own right, but didn't have the Overall Modest Mouse sound and quality? I like to think it is somewhere in between.
Yes, you read right. In between. Does this mean that it is worse than any of their other records? Not at all. In fact, the blend of poppy songs like "Dashboard" and "We've Got Everything" and classic Modest Mouse songs like "Spitting Venom" and "Education" make this a hell of an album. Not once did I get bored when listening to it through for the first time - there is not a bad song on the CD. Issac's lyricism is at it's best, and Marr's guitar work fits in great with the bass of Eric Judy.
There are some
things you could consider negatives though. Green's drumming isn't satisfactory by his standards, and theres also the fact that this album is most likely going to be playing at every American Eagle store in America. Don't get me wrong, I want this album to be successful, I just don't care for the preppy crowd who try to identify themselves with Alternative Rock singles and what not.
But anyhoo, on to the track-by-track.
1. March Into The Sea
This song has a very nautical feeling to it. The whole song reminds me of being on a boat for some reason, and having no means of getting back to land. Brock's screaming verses and sung choruses make for a nice tempo switch throughout the song. 4.25/5
I know you have heard this song by now - it's the new "Float On". An overall upbeat song, with a *gasp* optimistic approach, it is catchy and a good pick for the first single. However, compared to the rest of the album, I find this song sub-par. 3.5/5
3. Fire It Up
One of my person favorites on the album. Slow tempo, but a very large feeling to the song. This song is where the album starts to get really good. 5/5
This is probably the best song on the whole album. Quick and catchy, it has you singing along from the very start. The slight slowdown during the choruses is what makes this song so great. My money is on this being a single somewhere down the line. 5/5
5. Parting Of The Sensory
I know a lot of people who REALLY like this song, but I don't see it. It starts off slow, and gradually picks up pace near the end, but if you are impatient like me, you likely won't get to that point. The one thing this song does have going for it is it's lyrical quality. The lyrics alone earn it's score. 3.75/5
6. Missed The Boat
A good song. Slow paced, but catchy in its own right. Reminds me a lot of "One Chance" on Good News. Good back up vocals throughout the song as well. 4.25/5
7. We've Got Everything
The next single I bet. Another half-pop song like Dashboard, but this one is better. I think it's the back up vocals of James Mercer that does the trick. Yes, the song is a little repetitive, but you haven't heard anything till track 11... 4/5
8. Fly Trapped In A Jar
Once again the album picks up some steam. This seems more like classic Modest Mouse with its vocal style and drumming. The song takes a total change a little past halfway through, but that isn't a bad thing. 5/5
Another of my favorites. It almost seems like this and "Fly Trapped In A Jar" could be one song with their style. Some more good lyrics here and catchy vocals and strong structure make this song one of the best 5/5
10. Little Motel
Another slow paced song like "Missed The Boat", but this one is even slower. It does slowly build, but it never anywhere near fast. A good song, but one of the more forgettable tracks. 4/5
11. Steam Engenius
This... is a repetitive song. A good repetitive song, but still, repetitive. Catchy, but that's really ALL it has going for it. 2.75/5
12. Spitting Venom
This song is what the album is all about. Good guitar, good vocals, good lyrics, good bass, just... good. The longest song on the album, but it's so good you will wish it were longer. 5/5
13. People As Places As People
Good lyrics for sure. For some reason I always get this dark feeling when listening to this song and the next track. I don't know. Maybe that's how they intended to end the album. Either that or I am just weird. Overall good but not great song. 4/5
An abrupt ending to the album. Better closing track than "The Good Times Are Killing Me" was, but they could have chosen a better fit. Decent track. I don't really know how to explain this track other than decent.3/5
*An album can be a "classic" and have a rating of 5 even if all of the songs aren't 5's... As a whole, this album is a 5. I do not rate based on the average ratings on the songs