Album Reviews

Mogwai: “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’’

By Carrie Battan
February 15, 2011

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The greater the distance grows from post-rock’s heyday, the fewer the ears patient enough to wait around for a new set of sprawling, wordless 15-minute compositions to build and crash. It was probably a wise choice, then, for Mogwai to cut to the chase on its seventh full-length. Most of the tracks on the latest album clock in under six minutes, and unlike some tepid former attempts at being more concise, reach blaring, muscular cores that speak to the seminal Scottish act’s time-honored ability to shred hard, first and foremost. Excepting a few uncaptivating buildups and the icily subdued “Letters to the Metro,’’ “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’’ casts a wider spotlight on the climax instead of the band’s usual ebb-and-flow exploration of doom and gloom. The thicker the walls of sound this time around, the better, too — the forward-marching layers of distortion throughout “Rano Piano’’ and at the end of the hyper-cinematic “You’re Lionel Richie’’ are the most purposeful and satisfying aspects of the album. Post-rock might not be long for this world, but noise will never die.

ESSENTIAL “You’re Lionel Richie’’