Mogwai – Earth Division EP Mogwai – Earth Division EP

Mogwai - Earth Division EP

Earth Divison is an EP made up of four quieter Mogwai moments; introspective numbers which would be the perfect soundtrack to a gritty spy drama where it rains a lot on car windows. Unfortunately, my life is not a gritty spy drama- It rains a lot, but I don’t have a car. Even objectively one would have to admit that these recordings are some of the least raucous and pent up tracks that Mogwai have ever recorded, but even then- that doesn’t mean they have to be this boring, this beige.

Mogwai are at that point in their career where they appear more and more often to do a PR piece- an interview on The Quietus here, a track by track commentary on the Guardian there- they probably won’t be releasing very loud music in another ten years time. Much has been made in the build up to Earth Division EP of the fact that these are softer, more melancholic numbers than we might have heard from Mogwai before. Nonsense. Mogwai are almost as well known for their crushing instrumentals (Like Herod, Glasgow Mega-Snake) as they are for their truly depressing, moody ones (R U Still In 2 It, Stanley Kubrick). Indeed time was it wasn’t a Mogwai track if it didn’t have a depressed Aidan Moffat singing about girls over the top of it.

The point being, we know they can do quiet, and how well they can do it- and this…..this is not good. The entire EP is cinematic, yes- but tracks either feel contrived and lifeless or bear absolutely no resemblance to being a Mogwai tune. “Drunk and Crazy” begins with walls of thick space-age distortion before eventually calming everything down with some piano and chucking it all together again, but in truth it sounds like something that has its place on a Muse album about black holes and Freddy Mercury (probably). “Get To France” is a spooky murder mystery number that lays the piano on thick. Whilst it’s fun to think about which murder mystery series in particular it would fit into, it sounds absolutely nothing like a Mogwai song and tries too hard, sounding a bit cheesy in the process. It’s a similar story with the acoustic ballad “Hound of Winter”. Even the fact that it’s an ‘acoustic ballad’ from Mogwai should give you the clue- I like to think most ‘gwai tracks with vocals are tasteful and well done, but this is definitely a black mark against- clichéd lyrics and harmonicas do not suit the boys.

These songs were reportedly recorded during the same sessions that produced Hardcore Will Never Die…and it’s believable. Unfortunately they seem to signal the bands steady descent into ‘Inoffensive background music’.

1. Get To France
2. Hound Of Winter
3. Drunk And Crazy
4. Does This Always Happen?

“Where did it go, I don’t know”, the opening line of ‘Hound of Winter’.

Jesus. I’m too depressed to even make the pun.

Mogwai - Earth Division EP, reviewed by Lemon on 2011-09-15T09:36:33-07:00 rating 1.5 out of 5

Comments are closed.