Modest Mouse – Strangers To Ourselves
Eight years, eh? Modest Mouse finally return, unscathed – indeed, unMarred – by lineup changes and relocations, and the inclusion of some electronic bleeps’n’bloops aside, it sounds like they never went away. The pensive croak of the title track sounds wearier than previous efforts (“How often we become susceptible to regret,” laments Isaac Brock) but also relieved somehow, and as reintroductions go, it's pretty close to perfect.
In fact, there’s much to love throughout Strangers To Ourselves – the stellar grooves of drummer Jeremiah Green, Brock’s unique way with words, that familiar knack for off-kilter melody (Lampshades On Fire is an earworm to rival 2004’s mighty Float On)… It’s a long time now since they swapped the anarchic sprawl of yesteryear for neatly elliptical pop songs, but The Ground Walks and Pups To Dust show the mastery of their craft in full effect: graceful, volatile and frantically brilliant. Despite some plodding missteps, Modest Mouse’s welcome return manages to maintain an impressive stride.