SYNDICATE
Posted by: Dave on March 22, 2007 at 9:30 am

ModestMouseWeWereNote: This is the band’s first album with Johnny Marr (best known as the guitarist of The Smiths) as a full-time member.
Sound: A beefier, more mainstream-rock-radio-friendly Modest Mouse. There are still plenty of their signature bendy guitars, twisted blues progressions, ragged hoedown stomps and Isaac Brock’s dynamic vocal shifts from introspective to spazzy. But the cleaner and fuller production makes for a slicker, safer sound than usual. Oddly, the most daring tracks (the brassy, dance rock of “Dashboard” and the Yes-like prog pop of “We’ve Got Everything”) are also the most catchy, pop-friendly and successful.
Look For: James Mercer (The Shins’ frontman) contributing background vocals on three tracks (“Florida,” “Missed the Boat” and “We’ve Got Everything”).
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Dashboard”; “We’ve Got Everything”; “March Into the Sea”
Medium Rotation tracks: “Fly Trapped In A Jar”; “People As Places People”; “Missed the Boat”
Recommended: It’s surprising that the 90s college radio band with a penchant for jammy, oddball indie punk could ever make something this accessible. But the more conservative sound actually allows them to stumble upon some exciting new innovations. It’s only when they revert to their bread and butter that they feel like they’re repeating themselves from time to time.
Grade: B+

Listen to Tracks/Buy Music:
On iTunes
On barnesandnoble.com



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