Modest Mouse – Strangers To Ourselves (Epic; 2015)
A lot’s changed in the eight years since Modest Mouse released their last album: the first generation iPhone was unleashed, Paris Hilton was still on The Simple Life, and Spider-Man 3 had everyone confused over casting choices. (Why would they pick Topher Grace to play opposite Tobey Maguire? They look exactly alike and it’s confusing.) “Lampshades On Fire” is a perfect fit for the first single, with its carnivalesque ‘bop bop bop’s’ sporadically interspersed between Brock’s sharp and jutting lyrics. The album manages to balance emotionally gut wrenching tracks like “Ansel,” dedicated to the frontman’s late brother, with witty folk-inspired ones like “God Is an Indian And You’re An Asshole,” all the while maintaining their signature percussive, guitar-laden, danceable sound. Despite its title, Modest Mouse’s latest album is no Stranger to us: Isaac Brock’s unmistakable layered vocals are at the forefront of every song, nudging us gently back into an early 2000s alt-rock nostalgia.
Trial Track: “Lampshades On Fire” or “The Ground Walks, With Time In A Box”