Alt-rockers Modest Mouse has an extensive history of albums and EP’s, some considered masterpieces. Though immensely popular amongst alternative rock fans in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, their mainstream breakthrough emerged in 2004 with the release of their single “Float On”. However, Modest Mouse hasn’t released new material since 2007.
They recently broke their silent streak with their announcement of a new album titled Strangers to Ourselves. Modest Mouse has also released two singles from the album, “Lampshades on Fire” and “Coyotes”. On February 3, they shared another song, “The Best Room”.
The typical Modest Mouse tropes are all present—torrential percussion, aggressive lead guitar, Brock’s vocal inflections, and sardonic lyrics. “The Best Room” is reluctant to deviate from the Modest Mouse customs. It’s clear that they have settled into their identity of a blistering rock band.
Brock unpolished voice unharnesses barks and mutterings about “these Western concerns” of quotidian life, claiming “The best room they have/is the last one you want”. He sets a nice, incoherent narrative of his dismay of modern romance. Still, he has a sense of the exhaustion that his anxiety-induced music fuels. He asks the listener, “Ain’t it hard feeling tired/ all the time?”
The confidence and purpose they have in their music is admirable; however, if fans are yearning for new frontier for Modest Mouse, they may be disappointed in “The Best Room”. This steadfast band delivers material faithful to their style—but is far from redefinition.
By Mitchell McCluskey