Review: Strangers to Ourselves by Modest Mouse


Sam Bulkley


Artist: Modest Mouse

Album: Strangers to Ourselves

Genre: Alternative Rock

Recommended if you like: The Shins, Death Cab For Cutie, The Arcade Fire, Ugly Casanova

It has been eight years since Modest Mouse’s last full length album. They return with this interesting addition after canceling a tour, releasing an EP, and losing their founding bassist, Eric Judy. I say interesting because I think that the fans were expecting more out of this long wait than what the band gives. That being said, the album has some AMAZING songs on it such as “Lampshades on Fire” or “The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box.”


As a whole, this album has a little bit of everything that Modest Mouse has ever released. “The Tortoise and The Tourist” reminds me of the claustrophobic feeling that came with This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About. “Coyotes” takes us back to  The Moon and Antarctica because of the lonely and almost bare transition into beautiful and passionate harmonies. And “God is an Indian and You’re an Asshole” definitely bring recollections of the wacky Sad Sappy Sucker. So this record really visits all aspects of Modest Mouse. However, because of this, the undertone of the album as a whole gets mashed up and doesn’t compare to previous albums.


Now if you actually know Modest Mouse (knowing “Float On” doesn’t count), you’ll know that Isaac Brock is an amazing and inventive artist that experiments with what he can do with his music. So you can respect the uniqueness of Strangers to Ourselves and how it doesn’t really fit in. But then again, Modest Mouse’s music has never really wanted to fit in at all. Brock writes about his eccentric view on life and events and it is shown throughout this entire album. The one that stands out to me is “Ansel,” which is about the last time he got to see his late brother and “The unfaceable regrets that follow.” This album covers such a large array of obscure topics and it is honestly beautiful. I am excited to see the next chapter that Modest Mouse is trying to create. Definitely check out this album.