Album Review: Modest Mouse // The Golden Casket
How does the band's newest psych-pop opus stand up?
4.5 stars out of 5
It's hard to review a Modest Mouse album without referencing the time it's been since the last Modest Mouse album. New music from the Seattle-adjacent indie rock giants is a luxury, never a given. Even the band's weakest album, 2015's Strangers to Ourselves, was crafted around a number of diverse singles and high-energy guitar parts that would make former guitarist Johnny Marr blush. So, how does The Golden Casket — the band's newest psych-pop opus — stand up? Frontman Isaac Brock refers to it as the band's "sound effects record," and it's not hard to understand why. The album uses guitars sparingly and tastefully, such as on the college radio-ready "We Are Between" and the post-punk-esque "Japanese Trees." While longtime fans may struggle with the band's poppier moments this time around, it's balanced with the band's penchant for weirdness and trying new things. Brock's ear for melody is as good as ever ("F*ck Your Acid Trip"), but most surprising are a number of sentimental moments about being a partner and a parent ("Wooden Soldiers"). If we never get another Modest Mouse album, it's comforting to know they still go through life like the rest of us — freaked out and occasionally bursting with joy.