Album Review: Modest Mouse – Stranger To Ourselves

Stranger To Ourselves

modest mouse stranger to ourselvesReleased 3rd March 2015

Words: Ben F Gallagher

It could be that Modest Mouse are among the very few bands flying under the banner of ‘Cult band’ status that can remain safe within the hallowed category of not having crossed over to the ‘hipster alt mainstream’.

Even with their Epic new album, following an 8 year wait since their last album – We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank, they are unlikely to join the ranks of the Black Keys, the Flaming Lips or Jack White into being a fashionable band to follow. That, however, is no slight upon an album and a band that offer layer upon layer of classically Modest Mouse like ingredients from beginning to end.

Every Modest Mouse album seems to extend upon previously visited themes and flavours whilst projecting the unique and potty idiosyncrasies of this, most alluring of bands. The sprawling Strangers To Ourselves offers anthems that hook the unanointed as Float On and Dashboard did before. This is best demonstrated in the emphatically groovy single Lampshades On Fire and the terrific The Ground Walks, With Time In A Box.

As is usually the case and for the eternal benefit of anyone sensible to take the advice; the album develops and bewitches more and more as the record racks up rotations. Songs such as Sugar Boats, Be Brave and Pups To Dust, seem to polka, drive, scream and cruise beautifully into the subconscious.

Another characteristic that is unsurprisingly present is the humour and deprecation displayed by Modest Mouse. They define a disappointment as the Shit In Your Cut, and demand we sing along to the jaunty God is an Indian And You’re an A**hole.

Perhaps the two stand out tracks, that more than make up for the brave but isolated Pistol, follow on from each other in the grand finale of the album. The fabulous The Tortoise And The Tourist is succeeded by the even better The Best Room. In both cases Isaac Brock’s acidic and hilarious approach to lyricism manifest into Modest Mouse as gold dust.

The world, accurately observed by Brock is a place where –

“All the playgrounds where them kids don’t get to play. Dirty parkie’s went and chased them all away, to the game consoles to fatten”,
It is surely a better place now we have them back.

Listen to The Ground Walks With Time In A Box here:

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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