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Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 30 / 1 / 2011

Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
Label: Rock Action Records
Format: CD


Provocative seventh album from post rockers Mogwai, which finds them reinventing themselves with spectacular results

Never shy of being provocative Mogwai, who are bound to get attention anyway, have chosen the perfect album title. Understandably. Mogwai have always had treasured the idea of being hardcore. Too posh and trying too hard to pose as a young team flirting with gang culture made them appear a little pathetic on their first album, 'Mogwai Young Team'. Mogwai were, however, instrumental in the reinvention of new wave, but Stuart Braithwaite's teaching music killed Mogwai's street credibility. Let's reconsider. Mogwai have always been bright kids eager to explore new frontiers As on their first ever EP, '4 Satin', recorded just like this one with Chemikal Underground's's Paul Savage, the mighty Mogwai went through a series of tests and phases. They are back to square one now, reproducing all influences. Picking the berries from a bucket of vomit would be a very hardcore description. Mogwai have now redefined themselves and 'Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will' proves that Mogwai have mastered several popular artsy-fartsy music styles, which have merged into one captivating hybrid unstyle of their bloody own. Mogwai have rearranged probed styles as if in a homecoming, a decade onwards. 'Rano Pano', their free download track is the best isolated track off this new album and let me suggest that you go there before even continuing to read this . In the aftermath of Christmas and until the death of Thatcher, this will be your greatest treat. It is often beyond me as to why musicians give away such grand, brand new tracks. Put the track on repeat and this is what you'll get for nought, you lucky buggers, and you'll have a grand time. 'Rano Pano' hammers it down as a wall of guitar chord sounds and in its wet cement you'll be rolling over on your back like a happy puppy. 'Rano Pano' features a glorious double-looped guitar lead which makes you lose track of reality. On that track, and in just five minutes, Mogwai examplify what makes post and math rock music matter. As nice as a gesture it appears, this album marks a change in the direction for Mogwai. Taking tiny steps, Mogwai now try out such new things as storytelling and 'messages'. A main worry on this album remains the amount of time alloted to the human voice. And just when you settle for more indecipherable words, on comes 'San Pedro'. The American 'rawk' of 'San Pedro' reflects their tour diary of late 2010 and strolls along as if on a ship tooting its horn in the desert. You have to re- and replay these tracks to fully understand what is actually being said. Praise The Lord for such easily understandable titles as 'George Square Thatcher Death Party' though. As self-confirmed non-singers, Mogwai have the decency to hand out the few words to their 'vocals' on 'George Square...'. I shall remain impartial. I only know of the Baroness as some evil ruler in a country where I never lived. I can only suggest not to forget to invite Robert Wyatt. The Maggie death warrant kicks off with a plucking bass line and the track just begs for a heap of remixes. Mogwai played with your mind on the track before, 'Letters To The Metro', as they paraded in numbness, chewing it up as if it were the letters in the Metro mail box. At times on this hardcore disk, Mogwai recall early 1970's progressive rock nonsense but they do not go on forever like Yes and Gentle Giant did. The challenge in their style changes and chosen subjects, however, sets Mogwai apart. Almost as if paying tribute to, for example, Stereolab in the kraut rocking 'Mexican Grand Prix' with its cut up words, or R.E.M. on 'San Pedro', Mogwai re-invent their post-rock. 'George Square Thatcher Death Party' will undoubtedly catch a lot of attention. It's a hammering synth tune plus another one with the human voice, and perhaps a tribute to Pulp æsthetics. 'How To Be A Werewolf' takes 'Hardcore' to smithereen levels before it's time to wind down. Ambient and elegant on 'Too Raging to Cheers' Mogwai sound like the multi-talented gang they are again. 'Hardcore...' is mild, the brandmark wall of sound comes naturally, if not that often. 'You're Lionel Richie' relives that sentiment. The aftermath of 'Hardcore... ' is one of blithering noise and subtle moves. On this album Mogwai have found that fine balance once more.

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 Square Thatcher Death Party
8 How To Be A Werewolf
9 Too Raging To Cheers
10 You're Lionel Richie

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Interview (2007)
Mogwai - Interview
Post rockers Mogwai are currently working on their sixth album which will be released next year. Sarah Johnson speaks to the group's leader Stuart Braithwaite about it and the group's strong Glaswegian roots

live reviews

Someset House, London, 12/7/2007
Mogwai - Someset House, London, 12/7/2007
In a gig at London's Somerset House, Dan Cressey watches Scots post-rockers Mogwai play a soaring and relentlessly powerful set
Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
London Shepherd's Bush Empire, 19th April

digital downloads


Batcat (2008)
Fantastic new EP and first release from Mogwai's forthcoming new album, which includes a guest appareance from former 13rth Floor Elevators' frontman, Roky Erickson
Zidane : A 21st Century Soundtrack (2006)
Travel Is Dangerous (2006)
Rock Action (2001)

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