Modest Mouse , Strangers to Ourselves

Modest Mouse Strangers to Ourselves album art

Modest Mouse Strangers to Ourselves album art

Music Review: Modest Mouse, Strangers to Ourselves

 

Modest Mouse Strangers to Ourselves album art
Modest Mouse Strangers to Ourselves album art

 

 

If you’re looking for the old Modest Mouse, go home now – they’re gone. Strangers to Ourselves, released March 13, 2015 is the alt-rock giant’s first album in eight years and a strange collection of tracks that plays nothing like their breakout album, Good News for People who Love Bad News (2004), a record that set the standard for storytelling and cohesiveness.

 

“Lampshades on Fire” and “The Tortoise and the Tourist” still exhibit vestiges of the songwriting that built frontman Issac Brock’s career; cryptically pleasant lyrics and bizarre, sometimes dizzying guitar work. However the other tracks on the record seem to be a mixture of Ugly Casanova B-sides and songs like “Pistol (A. Cunanan, Miami, Fl. 1996),” which have all of the qualities of a nightmarish pop song, this one in particular pairs what sounds like a Gwen Stefani beat with the story of a nineties serial killer. While the experimental ethos is commendable, the results are inconsistent and more often than not barely listenable.

 

Strangers to Ourselves is a record certainly worth listening to, for the few tracks that make you nod and say, “Mouse has still got it” and from a place of “Where are they now?” curiousity. For a band that did all but call an official hiatus for the last eight years – in the process shedding almost all of the original members, this is not bad work and there’s some comfort in knowing that they’re back and doing what they do best – being weird.
Letter Grade: C