Mogwai

Every Country’s Sun

Temporary Residence Ltd.

Aug 31, 2017 Issue #61 - Grizzly Bear Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Much has happened in Mogwai's self made sphere since their last proper studio album, the sub rosa assault Rave Tapes, three years ago. Guitarist John Cummings bid farewell in 2015 and the four remaining dark knights of Scotland have turned their music to cause of late, having composed scores for conscience leveling documentaries Atomic and Before the Flood. And still, with winds of change sweeping across their moors, much of what they have planted in massive scale for over two decades has remained and is just as immovable on their ninth studio album, Every Country's Sun.

Mogwai capture a lot of the raw rage of their '90s material while exhibiting a further evolution of a deft hand at electronic refinement. Theirs is still an onslaught with the slow deliberate swell of a tidal wave, bringing the same force. Then you ride an outward trajectory on "Party in the Dark" that follows the vapor trails of past redirected flights of prog fancy, "Mexican Grand Prix" and "San Pedro." But what you know with Mogwai is that there are face melters ready to pounce from behind the stone. On "Old Poisons" and "20 Size" they lean in with all their weight and will have you tapping out like member of fight club with a big bloody grin on your face. Dave Fridmann has returned to helm the production and they fall back into their old rhythm, recalling the Mogwai classics Come On Die Young and Rock Action he produced in the early days.

As ever, and with an unmistakable imprimatur, the gripping basslines echo beneath, surfacing from a place that sees no light. You can still hear those scratchy squeaks that are traces of bassist Dominic Aitchison's calloused fingers sliding over thick strings. Meanwhile, drummer Martin Bulloch is reliably unflinching, efficiently dropping sticks of granite that mark a territory for battle. Captain of the vessel Stuart Braithwaite leads again and his spare vocals are never more at home than in the desert acid trip of "1000 Foot Face," while the keystrokes of Barry Burns lend elegant emotive peaks. Not least, the closing title track may be the band's magnum opus. A bite has returned to the legends of post-rock who still rule at mercilessly bludgeoning you with relentless instrumentalism, then directly soothing you with ambient teas. (www.mogwai.co.uk)

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