Mar 28, 2013 Web Exclusive
Back in February this year, composer Clint Mansell told London's The Guardian that film scores and post-rock were becoming interchangeable. If this is the case then perhaps it's fitting that Mogwai—whom Mansell cited as an influence—have recorded the soundtrack to new French zombie TV drama Les Revenants ("They Came Back" seems to be the most popular English approximation).
At this juncture it's probably worth noting that this is a drama rather than a horror show. As such, there's far less of a feeling of dread in the music than we have come to expect from Mogwai. Of course the score isn't light, but rather is sad and haunting, with Barry Burns' piano a focal point.
It will be fun to see how the music slots into the TV show. At times it's languid and broody, such as on "Kill Jester," a track that reminds us that you can deploy a deep groovy bass without feeling the need to go all dubstep. Elsewhere the songs are taut and restless ("Fridge Magic," but not, surprisingly "Relative Hysteria"), hinting at a climax that never comes.
Ultimately Les Revenants is a Mogwai album without any rock, and this proves to be a smart move. There are hints of Radiohead's track "Kid A" on the opener "Hungry Face" (I really hope this is a zombie character's name) and "What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?" is a neat country ballad with slightly gospel backing vocals that could have been taken straight from the last Spiritualized record. It's apt though that the TV show has drawn comparisons with Twin Peaks, as for the most part the album sounds like Angelo Badalamenti's work might had he grown up in a rock band. (http://www.mogwai.co.uk)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 7/10
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