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By Christine Saraceno
Since they released their debut album, “Young Team,” Scottish post-hardcore band Mogwai have put together an impressive discography of powerful, progressive, guitar-based rock music. However, after 16 years together their trademark musical formula could be more than a bit overused.
With producer Paul Savage (Franz Ferdinand) at the helm of their new release, “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will,” the album boasts an intricate arrangement of complicated dual guitar riffs and ripping drums, with the exception of the unusually beautiful piano-based ballad “Letters To The Metro.”
They revisit familiar territory with the songs “How To Be A Werewolf” and “White Noise” which both, in classic Mogwai fashion, start out at a slow, deliberate pace until reaching the roaring peak of musical tension, and then relenting into a mellow ending.
“Mexican Grand Prix” is a no nonsense auditory assault that kicks off with drummer Martin Bulloch’s violent cymbal smashing and is rounded out by Stuart Braithwaite’s surprisingly melodic wail.
When asked for his take on “Hardcore Will Never Die…,” Mogwai fan David Holloway said, “I’m loving the new album. It sounds very solid and complete. I think ‘Too Raging to Cheers’ would be my standout song from it.”
While “Hardcore Will Never Die…” will please fans, it should be acknowledged that the band is not showing any sense of advancement in musicianship. Some would say that since they are veterans of the modern prog-rock movement they are entitled to stick to the tired sound they helped to pioneer.
There comes a point though when experimentation proves to be vital in giving listeners something different to listen to. If Mogwai aren’t willing to tweak their style, listeners will be better off saving their money and instead listening to their previous releases since they are all musically interchangeable.