Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mogwai perfect art with seventh album - review

'Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will'
(Rock Action Records)

SCOTTISH rock band Mogwai have been startlingly prolific over their near 16-year career, one that sees them clock up a seventh studio album with this release, ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’.
The band have rarely, if ever, put a foot wrong, and this, the follow-up to their 2008 opus ‘The Hawk is Howling’ and last year’s superb live CD/DVD ‘Special Moves’, sees the band remain staggeringly original in their output.
A band whose music effectively coined the term ‘post-rock’, the Glasgow-based outfit have nonetheless consistently made a mockery of that simplistic tag, this album no different in its variety, from the click-track based, Battles-esque ‘Mexican Grand Prix’, to the subtle, delicate and soaring ‘How To Be A Werewolf’, to the epic, grandiose and feedback-drenched album closer ‘You’re Lionel Richie’, Mogwai take their so-called ‘post-rock/shoe-gaze’ style and tear up the rulebook, producing an album that is wonderfully inventive and fresh in scope.
Reunited with Paul Savage, producer of the band’s landmark debut album ‘Young Team’, the closing three tracks in particular might be viewed as classic Mogwai, slow-burning and epic, but other parts of the album represent something of a departure for the band, with the Godspeed You! Black Emperor-influenced, piano-based track, ‘Letters to the Metro’ and the heavily distorted, rare vocal track on ‘George Square Thatcher Death Party’.
The album and song titles show this is a band with tongue stuck firmly in cheek, their humour and far-reaching abilities self-evident on what is an expressive, genre-defining and unselfconscious album.

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