Monday, February 21, 2011

Album Review: Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will

In progression from The Hawk Is Howling in 2008, it seems as if post-rock group Mogwai has shifted their musical focus when one first inserts this new record. However, the experimental side of the Glasgow-based project really comes out on Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. For the traditional fan of the band, the most surprising aspect of the album is a larger emphasis of the spoken word, provided by Luke Sutherland and Domenico Loiacano on “Mexican Grand Prix” and “George Square Thatcher Death Party.” The ambient effect provided from vocals is a new taste from their usual works, but is woven in impeccably with the dramatic buildup and release in each song, working a current of sound that moves the listener at his core.

The album expresses great differences in song styles and tempos, which is unusual on a Mogwai record. Guitarist Stuart Braithewaite’s post-punk and experimental rock influences really shine through on “San Pedro,” with a drive comparable to a classic Sonic Youth tune and distortion enough to rival the Pixies, a major influence; meanwhile, “Letters To The Metro” allows pianist Barry Burns to shine, and hearkens back to some of their earliest works, particularly off Young Team. To the casual listener, the tracks have a tendency to blend into one another, yet each one stands out with a completely different vibe, and they stack into an expected but novel work that puts these five Scottish gentlemen near the peak of the genre, with a tough-to-top new CD.
Track Listing:
1. White Noise
2. Mexican Grand Prix
3. Rano Pano
4. Death Rays
5. San Pedro
6. Letters to the Metro
7. George Thatcher Square Party
8. How to Be a Werewolf
9. Too Raging to Cheers
10. You're Lionel Richie

You can purchase the album here.

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