It's been seven years since Indie-rock pioneers Modest Mouse have released an album. But die-hard, "been-around-since-bwillen" MM aficionados (like myself) knew something was on the horizon.
Earlier this week, an image of an apparent new single called "Lampshades on Fire" was posted to Modest Mouse's instagram. To the excitement of Indie kids (and Indie thirty-somethings) everywhere, Epic Records confirmed in a statement to REVOLT, Modest Mouse will release their 6th studio album sometime before the end of next March.
According to various sources, "Lampshades on Fire" will indeed be the album's debut single, and it is set to premiere this Monday (Dec 15).
The last full-length album from Modest Mouse was 2007's We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. Fans boasted it was a return to their original signature sound, which seemed to be lost with 2004's Good News for People Who Love Bad News.
Although Grammy nominated for Best Alternative Album in 2005, the pop-radio friendliness of Good News became the catalyst that would separate fans into two very seperate and distinct categories.
There were those long-time fans who saw frontman Isaac Brock's transition from the visceral songwriting and unapologetic lyrics of previous albums to the catchy, mass-appeal of Good News as the veritable end of Modest Mouse as we knew it...
And then there were those for whom Good News was their introduction to Modest Mouse. Subsequently, most did not hold the same affinity for early tracks that they did for singles from Good News, such as Float On, which was Grammy nominated for Best Rock Song in 2005.
Although We Were Dead may not have redeemed Brock to all hardcore MM fans, even the most stubborn Blue Cadet-3 traditionalists will be unable to deprive themselves of listening, at least once, to the highly-anticipated upcoming album.
Whether or not you care for the direction Brock has taken Modest Mouse, or whether the evolution of his Bukowski-inspired writing style is a bane or benefit to the future of the band, there is no denying the importance of this new album. It may indeed mark the triumphant return, or the quiet end, of one of Indie-rocks most significant and influential bands.
As a bonus, I've included the infamous YouTube video for Modest Mouse's performance of "Dark Center of the Universe" at this years Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas. There's a pretty neat surprise if you look into the sky at about 2 minutes 52 seconds.