Friday, 25 March 2011

Mini Review: Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

Having already mentioned my ambivalence towards the post-rock genre already elsewhere on the blog, you can imagine my gut reaction when I pulled Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, the seventh studio album from Mogwai, from the hat to be the tenth and final (for now) Mini Review. However from what I can observe Hardcore Will Never Die doesn’t play out like typical post-rock: the master volume control stays pretty central from start to finish, for example, making the record a touch more straight-edged than previous Mogwai albums. There is less of a reliance on the use of electronics to fill out the sound than on The Hawk Is Howling (Mogwai’s previous LP); this is very much guitar music. "Rano Pano" takes a simple riff through several noisy environments, with the slamming drums sounding just about right. The squeal of "How to Be a Werewolf’s" melodic lead is elevated to the point where pitch shifting becomes the natural medium for the continuation of the song. And the soft tremolo guitars which splash over "Too Raging to Cheers"’s intro are another favourite part of mine. These quieter moments seem to unusually outnumber the louder, heavier moments I expected an album called Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will to have, which left me underwhelmed at times. Much of the middle of the album also sounds like filler material to me. "San Pedro" attempts unabashed American modern rock, however as a result sounds like a palpable Nickelback cover with additional layers of guitar. The opening "White Noise" sounds hardly welcoming, especially compared to previous Mogwai intros. The final track "You’re Lionel Ritchie" has the brooding groove and classic distorted crescendo  you’d want from a post-rock song, and has the most amount of time to maximise it’s impact, making me think "what took you so long?". The track cements a strong resolution for Hardcore Will Never Die, which to me sounds like just another Mogwai record, no more memorable than The Hawk Is Howling. Others are bound to take more away from it, but it’s clearly just not for me.

We've reached the end of Mini Reviews for this month, and looking towards the future there's a lot of potential for future features. Maybe my reviews are a little too long, something I should probably work on. Giving myself more time to listen to the albums more in-depth is probably wise as well. Not sure at the moment whether I’ll run this feature next month though, and it’s unlikely to be every month, though it was fun and I’d like to do it again at some point. There’s a few ideas waiting to be written elsewhere on the blog, so keep posted (if you actually are in the first place).

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