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Mogwai les revenants

Les Revenants

Mogwai - 2013

Each Mogwai album contains a similar design flaw. A few brilliant beacons drift by in an otherwise indistinguishable sea of mediocrity. Such is the way with every record from the Scottish Guitar Army. Having said this, their early EP's were nothing short of superb! Perhaps Mogwai were never meant to churn out discs of 12 or so tracks at a time. Regardless, the good news here is that the boys from Glasgow can still put together a brooding instrumental that's two parts beautiful serenity and one part death metal. Les Revenants is a soundtrack. It's a collection of pieces that were penned to accompany a French TV series about zombies. Therefore, a thorough exploration of sequence and arc for this album seems entirely pointless. Let's instead turn our attention to the individual highlights of this release. The simple guitar riff of Relative Hysteria gives way to a chiming melody that climbs forever. The isolated Whisky Time is a lesson in mood and restraint. Then, there's the breathtaking Special N. This slow burning ballad is vintage Mogwai. It builds to a climactic rush before breaking and gently rolling back. It's Post-Rock perfection and makes me nostalgic for Sigur Rós, Rachel's, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and the Dirty Three. A dynamic shift is common in the closing of most any song in this genre and there's a wonderful example in Special N at the 2:55 mark. I long for such moments as a listener. It's a heartbreaking drawn out goodbye. Mogwai may not have the album of the year this time out but they continue to deliver my favorite brand of melancholy.

Posted by C. Scott

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Posted: 10/31/2013