Mogwai - Earth Division

by Steve Reynolds Rating:8 Release Date:2011-09-12

Mogwai have come a long way since their long player debut Young Team in 1997 and it seems like an eternity since they started on their journey of producing brutal but beautifully layered monoliths of noise which put them at the front of the British queue of modern day torchbearers of the post-rock genre.

This year's excellent Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will saw an increased volume of electronic beats, greater subtly of keyboards and strings, and less bludgeoning guitars. Their new EP Earth Division replicates this in parts and the haunting mix of slow-burning soft piano and cello intertwine beautifully on opener 'Get to France' . Its film score-esque and wouldn't be out of place in cerebral movie Donnie Darko.

Mogwai certainly seem comfortable in their ability to push beyond the obvious post-rock boundaries and the cinematic 'Hound of Winter', with its ethereal vocals and mellifluous harmonica, makes for a melancholy and compelling listen. 'Drunk and Crazy' drops more than a passing nod to fellow noiseniks Fuck Buttons with its abrasive electronic opening and atonal waves of noise. Halfway through it stops dead and the wailing cello returns to give us a slight respite before the less than soothing maelstrom of machine-made beats comes soaring back.

Closer 'Does This Always Happen?' is all strings, piano and warming chiming guitars. The arrangement is quite something throughout and the cello drives through the heart of the song effortlessly. Stick yourself in a darkened room with a set of headphones and I will leave the rest up to you.

Mogwai are a band at their height of popularity and creativity and if you don't embrace them now then more fool you for not paying attention.

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