Modest Mouse are following up their 2004 smash Good News For People Who Love Bad News with a very promising effort. We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank has the elements that make Modest Mouse’s music contagious and catchy. It’s also a great showcase of the melding of the Modest Mouse sound with new member Johnny Marr’s guitar. You may remember him as the signature guitar sound of The Smiths. Apparently Modest Mouse aren’t indie enough for the indie kids anymore, but their music is far from mainstream. The album is solid and worth it to hear the synergy and the occasional appearance of The Shins’ James Mercer.
I’m not from Barcelona, but neither are Sweeden’s I’m From Barcelona. This group first hit my radar screen when Paste Magazine’s Kate Kiefer featured them in a blog post with bands with confused geographic names (Beirut, Of Montreal, Berlin, The Mars Volta) and they’re also featured on this month’s Paste sampler. Let me tell you this is a fun record. It’s fun pop music with lots of sound and lots of melody, but what else would you expect from a 29 piece band? Let Me Introduce My Friends is going to stick around in my listening for quite some time. Check out their single “We’re From Barcelona” for a taste.