106 James Ellroy, Terry Pratchett
109 Com.x, Powers
109 The Jam, Feeder
BUY IT THIS FORTNICl-ll MOGWA Rock Action (Southpaw 00000
ake a riff, add to it, subtract from it, twist I it, scratch it for many minutes, all the while
retaining that petted lip sadness of the original Will OIdham/Jeff Buckley inspired thought. On the surface, the principles behind Mogwai’s music seem fairly simple, but still, they have made as deep and engrossing a record as you’ll hear all year.
Despite opening with the rumbling clanks of ‘Sine Wave’ - their collaboration with electronic footerers Remote Viewer - Mogwai have not turned into Autechre. And also, despite closing with the sweet country mumble of ‘Secret Pint’ they haven’t turned into Bonnie Prince Billy, either. These two are balanced up by the plaintive strings and gentle vocal lines of ‘Take Me Somewhere Nice’ and the menacing battle and slinking black guitars of ‘You Don’t Know Jesus’. As close to by-the-book Mogwai as this record gets, they are expansive, predominantly instrumental guitar rock where simple riffs grow into tidal crescendos.
‘DialzRevenge’ is the real stand-out track, Gruff from Super Furry Animals adding a pining Welsh
1 12 Quake III Revolution
1 13 Memento, Ghost Dog
1 14 Gene Kelly, Michelle Collins
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vocal line to a fragile piece of acoustic pluck; possibly the closest to a pure pop song as the band have ever constructed. The other highlight is probably the most beautiful piece of music the band have committed to tape. ‘2 Rights Makes 1 Wrong’ follows the pattern of ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’ from their debut album, going from no-holds barred rock to plaintive tinkle, replete with banjo and surging brass, all in under ten minutes.
Tracks like ‘0 I Sleep’ and ‘Robot Chant’ feel like glimpses of tunes that lesser outfits (the Mogwai of a few years back for one) may have tried to untangle only to find little record within. For their success here, we should congratulate the editing process. Both their previous albums suffered from a couple of surplus tracks making it less focused and more indulgent than was comfortable.
Expansion of the arrangement is the key factor on Rock Action. Their employment of strings and most significantly brass has broadened out the sound, but like Tindersticks, maybe Mogwai should have" always had brass and strings
com Excellent 0...
Recommended 000 Good
1 16 Scandic Style, Skatewear
120 New French Restaurants
In this post-modern, post- rock, post pretty much everything contemporary environment, Mogwai are the expert magpies.
sections as part of the equation as it sounds far from incongruous.
Rock Action is by no means perfect, but it is still a pretty fantastic record. And who cares if they nicked it all from Joy Division, Smog, Spacemen 3 and Slint; that’s what all contemporary music’s about - nicking better bits of the past from everyone else - and in this post- modern, post-rock, post-pretty much everything contemporary environment, Mogwai are the expert magpies.
Mogwai are good at what they do now and it is reassuring to think that there are always more possibilities to be explored. With Rock Action, Mogwai have produced their most succinct, deliberate, beautiful and accomplished record to date. (Mark Robertson)
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