Indie rock band Modest Mouse can officially declare an end to their 5 year hiatus period with the release of their new album, Strangers to Ourselves, on March 17, 2015.
Modest Mouse was formed in 1994 in Issaquah, Washington. After 21 years, they’ve managed to lay a pretty big claim on the indie rock scene. A cult following developed around the band’s 1997 album The Lonesome Crowded West, and the band developed a loyal fanbase. The band saw wide critical success in the year 2000, when they released The Moon & Antarctica. This album received huge amounts of praise from critics. They went on to find wide mainstream success in the album Good News for People Who Love Bad News, a platinum selling record. The band would continue to enjoy success in music until going on hiatus in 2010. This hiatus ended with Strangers to Ourselves, which was released this past Tuesday.
A wide variety of music is in Strangers to Ourselves. The first song, a ballad named after the album, introduces itself with a slow tempo, soft beat and a very relaxed mood. This song, used in the context of an intro to the rest of the album, is pretty great. Immediately after, however, this is traded for a very energetic rock sound, which is used for the rest of the album.
Many of the songs in Strangers to Ourselves manage to hit a wonderful middle ground between relaxing and highly energetic rock. Most of the songs are upbeat and happy, in a garage-band-hippy kind of fashion. This album contains no angry vibes, so its a pretty good album for a decent mood.
A few of the songs on the album give off the impression of being very cluttered, such as “Pistol”, which is essentially a drum beat electronically altered with vocals, a keyboard and a guitar on top of it. While it is certainly a huge break from the rest of the songs on the album, it’s always interesting to see a band take steps away from what they know to experiment with new styles of music.
Overall, Strangers to Ourselves is a great album. The vocals by Isaac Brock, lead singer, fit in perfectly with the relaxed indie-rock sound. A good number of the songs are new experiments for Modest Mouse, with some being for the better and others being for the worse. Strangers to Ourselves is not a 10/10 perfect album — but it’s solid quality, with plenty of good tracks, both in classic Modest Mouse fashion and new experimentation in indie-rock sound.