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Mogwai's album ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’ Reviewed

Hardcore will never die? But this music has nothing to do with hardcore… how do you call it, post-rock, krautrock, art-rock? Whatever, Mogwai’s new album is a long journey through lonely landscapes, a blank canvas where you can project yourself, slowly climbing giant and imaginary mountains, over miles and miles of summits and valleys.

It is not because there are no lyrics that the album should be treated as background music, rather it will grab you by surprise with its repetitive tracks, slowly waking up like after a long sleep.

There are the intense and solid anxious heartbeats and the paranoiac whispers over the eerie synth of ‘Mexican Grand Prix’, which accelerate in a whirl of white noise so intense it could make you blind, there is the grinding noise, that weighs a ton on your shoulders, of ‘Rano Pano’, an epic piece with an ascending, against-stream long-distance run, and a luminous, ethereal sound that could crash any minute, but rather almost dies several times without breaking, there is the slow soaring and glowing beauty of  ‘How to be a Werewolf’, which could just makes you drive to the end of the world, goalless, choosing the journey over the destination. The light is at its brightest with ‘Death Rays’, a piece with more triumphant parts than nostalgic ones.

Despite the gravitas and the interior drama of the music, humor is all over the album with titles like ‘George Square Thatcher Death Party’, a Radiohead-like hard beat tune with auto-tuned female-sounding vocals, or ‘You’re Lionel Ritchie’, the longest of the 10 tracks, but perhaps the most saga-like with its quiet and modest beginning to its explosive apogee giving birth to an abrasive and laborious noise.

A track like ‘San Pedro’ seems less anchored in this electronic textures and is even borrowing to something close to a Queens of the Stone Age’s tune, whereas ‘Letters to the Metro’ will put you into a melancholic and emotional place with a deserted piano, a place which will become even more dramatic with ‘Too raging to Cheers’.

For mysterious reasons I was first more attracted by the cruelly funny title of the album ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’, than by its content, knowing very little about the Glasgow’s resident Mogwai. However their 7th album, just released yesterday in the US through Sub-Pop, contains cinematic songs that you may never be able to hum, but whose grandiose prints will never die in your mind.

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