Mogwai, "Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will"

These trash-talking Scots have done their quiet-loud noise-rock thing so consistently in the last decade-and-change that Mogwai's reunion here with its original producer hardly makes a recognizable impact. So why mention it? Because, like the half-dozen long-players that preceded it, "Hardcore Will Never Die, but You Will" finds the fivesome in reliably epic pseudo-soundtrack mode, waxing their glacial post-rock riffs until they gleam with equal parts menace and melancholy. A couple of tracks feature liberally processed vocals, but the singing acts less as a melodic agent than as one more source of instrumental texture. (That "Hardcore" marks Mogwai's fresh pact with Sub Pop following a long stint with Matador appears to have affected the band's music about as much as producer Paul Savage's involvement.) All that said, standouts do exist among these 10 tracks, most notably the gorgeously fuzzy "Rano Pano" and "Letters to the Metro," a languid, piano-led slow jam. But if you know Mogwai, you already know "Hardcore."

- Album Review


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