(4 out of 5 stars)
After a two-year absence, Modest Mouse is back on the scene with an album devoted to leaving their legacy. The great thing about this album is that it’s what you would expect from MM. No matter how long you’ve been a fan, the band from Washington delivers a stellar performance once again. But do not assume this album will bore. MM surprises the masses with new guitarist Johnny Marr from the Smiths. This novel talent adds just enough spice to tease your senses as you indulge in a musical feast.Consider this album a buffet of tunes. The combination of shouting and singing gels appropriately with the intense-then-demure melodies for which MM is popular. Flavored with mounting and dying rhythms, the songs reflect the maritime flow of the album title. As for the lyrics, they themselves smirk wryly at life’s ironic situations, another familiar characteristic of the band.Already #1 on more than one Billboard chart, this album is proving unsinkable in the music world. We Were Dead was released March 20 as a follow-up to fan favorite The Moon and Antarctica, released in 2004. Moon was dropped shortly after a re-release of Good News for People who Love Bad News, which held arguably Modest Mouse’s most popular tune, “Float On.” While those albums were released together in order to form a bridge between the long-time fans and the newcomers, We Were Dead hopes to cater to all fans.