Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
A surprisingly cheery euphony opens this record, this is surprising for three main reasons: firstly, the new album is called Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will, secondly, the track in question is entitled "White Noise" and thirdly, this is Mogwai - Scotland's favourite miserablists. If that wasn't unexpected enough, the upbeat nature of the opener continues into "Mexican Grand Prix" (with its traditional rock rhythm and...wait for it...vocals, albeit heavily distorted) and "Rano Pano" which was released to fans late last year as a much needed teaser taster. It’s an interesting start and brings a new lease of life to a band that, in the past, have made a living crafting "quiet-quiet-loud" compositions into full blown post-rock symphonies. By the second half of the album however, the band are on a more familiar groove, "Death Rays" in particular is typical latter era Mogwai, complete with the keyboards and melodic guitar parts which filtered through The Hawk Is Howling's less gloomy numbers. And even with this new-found love for the joyful, it's the spine tingling and sad touches which make Mogwai the surviving masters of the post-rock genre. Tracks like "Too Raging To Cheers", "Letters To The Metro" and the token long-song "You're Lionel Richie" have the resonance to live-on for years to come and would sit nicely alongside "Mogwai Fear Satan" and "Like Herod" in their live cannon. On the whole, and despite the odd misjudgement (e.g. ill-advised use of a vocoder on "George Square Thatcher Death Party") this is yet another solid album in which the band's new level of studio tinkering, combined with a smattering of old-school bombast, produces some enthralling results.