Mogwai – Rave Tapes
From the depths of Glasgow’s Castle of Doom come the masters of cosmic dirge and psychedelic experimentation Mogwai, with their eighth studio album, Rave Tapes.
Like their earlier work, the album is more akin to that of a film score than a contemporary post-rock compilation. Opening track Heard About You Last Night awakens the listener across a cool L.A. dreamscape. A true lesson in lounge beats, the track manages to hold the listener with subtle hints of bravado that arise later in the album.
Following are Simon Ferocious and Remurdered; the former showcasing some interesting guitar work despite resting on a rather monotonous rhythm, the latter a series of downtrodden licks merged with the sound of cheap 80s video game effects that undesirably reappear throughout the rest of the album.
The forgettable Repelish, Blues Hour and No Medicine for Regret all reside as no more than album filler, while the sludging efforts of Deesh refrain from reaching any kind of satisfying crescendo.
Hexon Bogan, arguably the albums strongest tune, begins where Last Night left off, transforming the once cool vibes into a monstrous growl of gloom and heartache. The only problem is, it’s not long enough. Closing Rave Tapes is The Lord is Out of Control, a jagged contortion of sounds that creates a strangely pleasing endnote to an otherwise weary album.
To the bands’ credit, it is exceedingly difficult to make a compelling album composed of just instrumentals (let alone a career out of it) but Mogwai do it better then most. Problematically, it’s even harder for a listener to become captivated by it all without the aid of a catchy hook to help push the music along. Part-time listeners would be better off exploring some of the bands early work while also delving into the scores of some of their favourite blockbusters.
Rave Tapes was released 20th January 2014.
Watch the video for The Lord is Out of Control here: