One of the most anticipated rock albums was finally released today. Admittedly, Modest Mouse is one of my all time favorites and I could write for days about the new album, but I’ll try to keep it as short and sweet as possible. Active since 1993, from Washington state, Modest Mouse is now releasing their first studio album in 8 years. It seems so fitting that front man Issac Brock titled his record label “Glacial Pace.” This album marks their sixth full length album, but the band has multiple EPs for those who just can’t get enough Modest Mouse.
The albums second single “Coyotes” is a good example of the albums’ more acoustic spots:
The albums sound is astoundingly familiar, keeping the bands iconic array of twanging string instruments with Issac Brock’s perfectly quirky vocals. However, there is also an aura of freshness and experimentation. The album ranges from calmly swaying chimes on the first track “Strangers To Ourselves”, then quickly twists to a bumpy percussion-driven (percussion by Jeremiah Green) song in homage to serial killer A. Cunnan in the fourth track, “Pistol.” Even still, they go back to their iconic, piercing guitar riffs in “The Tortoise and the Tourist” and then make good use of the keyboard to finish up the album in the dramatic song “Of Course We Know” (audio below).
One thing that is evident is the theme of the album. Songs of serial killers and wild animals make the album seem to point out the cruelty of mankind.
Issac Brock stated clearly in a 2004 interview with AV Club that he was intrigued by biblical characters, but much more in favor of atheism. Previous albums have been very apparent of this, but Strangers To Ourselves seems to be less accusatory of religion and much more focused on the idea that mankind will never know absolute truth. According to an HMV interview, a part two to the album has been announced by Brock and is said to arrive “as soon as legally possible.” Hopefully it isn’t another 8 year wait.