Modest Mouse

We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank

Before you get too excited about Johnny Marr joining Modest Mouse, remember that his last album was not ‘Strangeways, Here We Come’ but The Healers’ wretched ‘Boomslang’, while Modest Mouse have been making quirky indie tunes for aeons that you’d be hard pushed to hum. Thankfully, ‘We Were Dead…’ – all buffeting sea-shanties and squiffy art-rock anthems – is a spirited attempt to chart new territory for both parties. Both Marr and MM mainman Isaac Brock have a weakness for bombast that can make them sound like Snow Patrol playing Gogol Bordello, but the album heaves with vim and variety. If Marr’s presence is this galvanising, you wonder what he could do for a certain bequiffed one.

Sam Richards