The latest addition to the Modest Mouse line-up, former Smiths axer Johnny Marr replaced Dann Gallucci (Tunsten Gat, Murder City Devils, A Gun Called Tension), who led the group to it’s first and only Grammy with his penning of Float On.
And from the gate, Marr’s presence rings out.
Marr doesn’t dominate, however. As the album plays on, he shrinks back and lets Isaac Brock lead with the jangling and disjointed personality that Modest Mouse has been know for throughout its many years.
We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is, in fact, a certain classic in the Mouse discography—perfect to the pattern, and evolutionary in its whole.
Brock puts forth more of his mastery for lyrical conjecture, describing the laws of space and social discourse with spastic metaphor, repeating himself until we all believe.
During the stints with Gallucci, without drummer Jeremiah Green, and now with Marr, Modest Mouse demonstrates its ability to stay consistent, to a degree proving that it is Brock’s presence that really makes this band what it is. But regardless, it is what it is, and it is a beautiful, mesmerizing and oddball thing.