Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

Craig Broad 08/02/2011

Rating: 4/5

I remember a whole host of people blabbering on about Mogwai and that I needed to check them out, that my life depended on it, that I really couldn't listen to post-rock as a genre without Mogwai being a part of it, and I just laughed them off for as long as I could until one birthday my dad bought me 'Mr Beast' on vinyl and that was the start of this infactuation with the scottish band that until this day, has yet to cease.

'Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will' is the bands seventh album, and I wouldn't blame anyone who perhaps looks at the band and wonders after such a productive career spanning several albums, eps and a fair few soundtracks, how can they still not only be making music, but still be re-creating their sound and maintaining their relevance in a music industry that has continuously evolved since their birth in 1995, but the fact is, Mogwai have never been so cool that they've gained the popularity to be able to sell out, they've just steadily it seems, gone about their business releasing the music that they want to in that snapshot of time. 'Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will' is another snapshot of time, but unlike their previous efforts, for me showcases the versatility of the band not only for their instrumental rock roots but also showing the electronica and trip-hop sections that the band have been daring to show us for years.

Mogwai of recent, can be so painfully beautiful that you wonder if they've lost their bite, opener 'White Noise' deceives you with its Battles-esque guitar melody before evolving into this beautiful landscape of sound that we've heard from the likes of Sigur Ros before, it's all very lovely but for most Mogwai fans, this is what we've grown to dislike about the band and it is at this point that I'm painfully hoping the rest of the album won't be so gorgeous, so lush, so shoegazing, so...samey. Luckily for me, by track two 'Mexican Grand Prix', that feeling is dispelled completely, it's upbeat, driven by this racey bassline which I'm sure inspired the title of the track, while its trip-hop-esque vocals recall the so far popular tones of The XX, which would generally be a bad thing for me, but with Mogwai, it seems to be an extension of their sound. 'Letters To The Metro' is new Mogwai by numbers, if you ever needed a song to encapsulate the bands prowess at writing a solumn track that has the ability to command a listeners attention within one bar of music then this is it, built upon a fragile piano melody, it puts instrumental music at its finest peak, showing that you don't need lyrics to evoke emotion. Every time Mogwai fool you into thinking they are mellowing in age, they hit you where it hurts and 'George Square Thatcher Death Party' does exactly that, once again built on a relentless bassline, this time punky, really this is a band that are comfortable doing anything, as long as it is making music, any music and it is frightening how many times this album makes me question whether I am listening to the same band.

'The Hawk Is Howling' was a let down for many people (not especially for me though) but 'Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will' definitely will put the band back on form for all fans to see/hear. At times it is fragile, ambient while at others it has a baseball bat and is thoroughly beating you over the head with it, it's post-rock, it's trip-hop, it's ambient, it's punk rock, it is nothing short of attention grabbing and has already made me excited for a new year of music.

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