The Golden Casket

Modest Mouse

Epic, 2021

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Well this was unexpected! Six long years after Strangers To Ourselves, Modest Mouse have finally returned with a new disc. Lead single “We Are Between” reminds me of the Modest Mouse that I really liked in the mid 2000s, with great guitar work and a kind of dour vibe that suits it extremely well.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Opening track “Fuck Your Acid Trip” is a more experimental track with a great chorus and sets the pace for the rest of the record. “Wooden Soldiers” is one of the slowest and longest tracks here, but it works, very lazy and at ease and it will quickly become a favorite among fans. Departed bassist Eric Judy gets a songwriting credit on “Walking And Running,” marking his first appearance on a Mouse record since 2009, but the song is one of those that doesn’t work and is mostly skippable.

What makes this record interesting is that it’s not much of a ‘band’ record but more of a collective of musicians working under the name of Modest Mouse. There’s like six members of the band and they don’t all appear on the same tracks; meanwhile the band publicity photos for this record only feature Isaac Brock and longtime drummer Jeremiah Green.

The slower vibes continue with “The Sun Hasn’t Left,” which follows a similarly lazy path, but helps keep things lively. The weirdness reaches its apex on “Never Fuck A Spider On The Fly,” which carries all of the oddities of the title, but works well.

The album closes with a subtle ballad, “Back To The Middle,” only featuring Green and Brock alongside with occasional member Lisa Molinaro and bassist Russell Higbee, pushing the song’s power right up front. Some have complained about the overabundance of production on the record, but I think it’s a strength because it allows the best songs to really shine all over and the weaker tracks to fall to the back. Hopefully we won’t have to wait as long for the next disc.

Rating: B+

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