Saturday, March 5, 2011

REVIEW: Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

I try not to have expectations when I listen to a new record. What if a favorite band wants to try something completely different? In my opinion, they ought to have that freedom, really they've earned it. Take this new Mogwai disc for example.

Autotune, really? Well, in my opinion, it works. Where the first track, "White Noise" is a pretty typical Mogwai track (slow build, eventually overwhelming you with its raw power), "Mexican Grand Prix" (video below) develops steadily from an odd sort of synth click track, while speeding up and eventually adds some chanting autotune vocals. Not what I'd have expected, but it adds a nice touch. I hear Kraftwerk (of course, it's a road song), but filtered through American Analog Set and, of course, amplified to rock.

A delightful video with Glasgow streets and people rushing by at a dizzying pace, this reminds you that Mogwai are from the same place as Teenage Fanclub and Idlewild... I, for one, tend to forget that. But listen to "San Pedro" and "How to Be a Werewolf" and you will be reminded.

Seems to me there's a little more variety here and it's all very well-done. "Letters to the Metro" is a beatiful, country-inflected song, but of course at its conclusion, you are taken right into the choppy, rocking "George Thatcher Square Death Party" which layers in some more autotuned vocals over a punk backbeat and raging guitars. Then you're into "How to Be a Werewolf", which is gorgeous throughout... Let's not waste any more time. This is a fantastic record. I really don't think they've hit a false note on the whole thing. Go get it.

Website: Mogwai

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