‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’ | Mogwai
For fans of: Mew, Doves, Pelican
Suggested tracks: “George Square Thatcher Death Party,” “San Pedro,” “How to Be a Werewolf”
Mogwai has always eschewed the trite verse-chorus-verse conceit for grandiose soundscapes and four minute-plus crescendos that erupt into cathartic rock bliss, all with the sparse use of vocals. That approach is on display on the band’s seventh album, “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will,” but limp-wristed wind-ups make for some weak cuts. Despite these few missteps, however, Mogwai is still able to crank out some jams perfect for listeners who prefer their gratification delayed.
It’s best to cut out the first two tracks, sticky-synthy “White Noise” and “Mexican Grand Prix,” which features a metronome effect similar to jamming an ice pick into your temporal lobe. The top tracks, such as “San Pedro” and the slow burner “How to Be a Werewolf” showcase the Mogwai we’re more familiar with—buzzsaw guitars, technical and emotive drumming, and judiciously effected synthesizers. “George Square Thatcher Death Party” (it is prudent to note that the song titles mean nothing) even incorporates vocals, though less for lyrics and more to give listeners the sensation that the electrical ghost is serenading them.
Mogwai will never be a radio band, but fans of post-rock should check out “Hardcore”—though not, perhaps, until they’ve heard better offerings from Mogwai’s catalogue first.