‘The Golden Casket’ album review
album: The Golden Casket
artist: Modest Mouse
genre: rock & roll
release date: June 25, 2021
star rating: four out of five
review by Ainsley Cotherman
I’ve been listening to Modest Mouse for about eight or nine years now. Their lyrics tend to capture dark, dismal, and abstract concepts or situations very well while the instruments maintain a contagious, fast-paced energy. Here are some of my thoughts on their latest album The Golden Casket.
I largely focus on lyrics in my review because I find Modest Mouse has a unique talent in this area. However, regarding melody/musical quality, the song “Back To The Middle” was the most enjoyable. The only part of the album that has it beat as far as catchiness or “sing-along ability” is the repeated line, “Figure it out, you’ll figure it out. But I have to go now, I have to go right now,” from the song “Fuck Your Acid Trip.” The best percussion and bass goes to “Walking And Running.”
The intro to “Leave A Light On” was reminiscent of a mix of the styles of Glass Animals and Metric, both excellent bands. Lyrically, this song is a wonderful exposé on the different lives we all live, written through the perspectives of our houses. The line, “We’re leaving… we’ll be home soon… I’ll leave the light on for you,” repeated throughout the chorus seemingly alludes to death, as this is the only place where the writer uses “home” instead of “house.” Or rather, it could simply signify returning to the one whom they love, as one of the lyrics states, “Your house is inside my heart, and your heart’s where my house is.”
I was curious if their new song “Never Fuck A Spider On The Fly” had any connection to their 2007 song “Fly Trapped In A Jar.” The two don’t appear to be related; however, the new song does stick with the theme of being trapped. The spider and its web are analogous to aspects of the modern age (cellular gadgets, politics, news) that leave us, the “flies,” stuck.
As previously stated, Modest Mouse lyrics tend to lean toward dark themes. That is why I was surprised to find “Lace Your Shoes” seems to be about the writer’s hopes for his children, and the profound effect his children have had on him. As a fellow parent, this really struck a chord with me.
Overall, I rate The Golden Casket four out of five. For the most part, the style remained consistent with what I expect from Modest Mouse. I did not dislike any of the songs on the album, which is a feat considering it contains twelve. At the same time, none of them top my older favorites from the band: I find myself going back to the album We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank as well as the classic “Float On.” Still, The Golden Casket is certainly worth a listen.