Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

Mogwai- Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

Mogwai- Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

Despite the seventh  studio album from Mogwai having such a provocative title, do not be fooled. The lads haven’t gone back to the no holds barred style of post-rock that characterised their early works, and even the most ardent fan would now have to admit that this Mogwai is not the same band that released Young Team. It’s alright though, because Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will is actually quite good.

 

I personally think it’s the album artwork that gives a greater insight into album number seven than its provocative title or opening track name. This brand of post-rock is easily digestible; better suited for the everyday hustle and bustle of city life- rather than conjuring images of the biblical and hellish (“Like Herod”….for several reasons). Stating this isn’t meant as any sort of sneering purist jibe, merely admitting that Hardcore…. offers very different types of kicks than Young Team or the likes of EP+6.

 

But Mogwai haven’t been new kids on the block for quite some time, and they still know how to write an instrumental rock song, even if their style has softened. They can do soft. Opener “White Noise” tells you what to expect from Hardcore…, steady melodies, twinkling electronics that paint pictures of humming city life and activity rather than the raw and monumental. “Death Rays” shares these qualities, and even offers a vintage Mogwai drone towards the end. You’ll still recognize them even if you aren’t still in love.

 

“San Pedro” is an example of the most directly accessible side of Mogwai’s newer sound; Guitars cranking out a thuggish riff before a gigantic chorus takes over. It’s good, but the Mogwai of old wouldn’t have wanted, tried or needed to encapsulate such moments into neat three and a half minute packages. But it still remains one of the louder moments on Hardcore…, sandwiched nicely between “Death Rays” and the sublime “Letters To The Metro”. The purists will call it a poor man’s “Stanley Kubrick”; I don’t care, something about those slide guitars just does it for me. Heartbreaking stuff.  And if nostalgias your bag, “How To Be A Werewolf”, a.k.a. “Yes! I Am a Long Way From Home Pt.2” will certainly recall the ‘Gwai of old. Steady build up, an incredibly familiar bassline, and eventually a modest eruption; the point eventually sets in around track seven that Mogwai are aiming for melody rather than punch these days.

 

And what’s wrong with that? They’ve certainly shown us before that they are capable of that. But Krautrock indebted tracks such as “Mexican Grand Prix” and in general an adocation of melody over noise- not so much. Mogwai have been around now for 14 years- They may not have aged flawlessly, but who has? Hardcore…. at least sounds comfortable in itself and not in the least bit contrived, and it’s a marked improvement upon  the forgettable The Hawk Is Howling. It’s maybe a tad depressing to have to ask that of a new album from the same band that brought us Young Team, but that’s the distinction between being a fan of an album, and being a fan of a band.

 

So- R U Still In 2 It?

Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, reviewed by Lemon on 2011-03-03T14:40:14+00:00 rating 3.5 out of 5



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