Mogwai – “As the Love Continues” Review
“To the bin, my friend, tonight we vacate Earth!”
It’s a very intriguing start to an exciting, gripping album.
Alternative/indie instrumental band Mogwai takes the lead on the Official Albums Chart with the release of their 10th studio album, “As the Love Continues,” serving as a successor to their 2017 album “Every Country’s Sun.”
Mogwai made their debut in the 1990s, taking to genres such as post-rock, goth and indie. What made them so significant is that the group offered something newer compared to the Britpop and dream pop that was popular during the U.K.’s indie rock scene.
Members Stuart Braithwaite (guitar, vocals), Barry Burns (guitar, keyboard, vocals), Dominic Aitchison (bass) and Martin Bulloch (drums) began a successful career in Glasgow, Scotland, by taking inspiration from other post-punk bands such as Slint, Fugazi and the Cure.
Slint especially had a great influence on the band when they were first starting out, as the vocals in the band’s most popular 1997 album “Young Team" are very reminiscent of Brian McMahan’s soft-to-yelping vocal style in “Spiderland” — also an amazing post-rock album to check out.
Although “As the Love Continues” does not match the original and identifiable music Mogwai had earlier in their career, listeners will find this record to be quite refreshing, especially for those fans who only listen to “Young Time” or “Ten Rapid.”
Ears are well-met with a strong and jarring intro as audiences are introduced to gorgeous, almost hovering electronics.
Braithwaite’s guitar rattles your brain while Barry Burns’ synths twinkle in the background, contributing to an already spacey and invigorating energy and atmosphere.
It’s not as guitar-oriented as their more popular earlier works, but the sounds of beautiful guitar strumming can be heard shimmering in the background.
The percussive, rhythmic thumping of Martin Bulloch’s kit is entrancing and brings strength to a track like “Dry Fantasy.”
The album’s only song with clear vocals, “Ritchie Sacramento,” is not just a great song stylistically but also one that holds meaning, serving as a dedication to lost friends such as David Berman, frontman of the indie rock band the Silver Jews, who died in 2019.
Another track to look out for is “Drive the Nail,” as it’s very similar to what the band is most known for in previous albums: soft interludes and loud crescendos.
What sets this LP off as far from perfect is how it loses that previously mentioned strength and atmosphere in the latter half, as songs like “Midnight Flit” and “Pat Stains” are where it starts to get boring. Guitar riffs become repetitive, drawn out and almost flatline.
But in general, those unfamiliar with or show skepticism toward instrumental music will be quite surprised with this work in its entirety despite these imperfections.
While not Mogwai’s greatest piece of work and one that has its flaws, “As the Love Continues” is still a greatly evolved and multilayered LP and an excellent addition to the group’s discography.
Reviewer’s Favorite Tracks: “To The Bin My Friend, Tonight We Vacate Earth” and “Ritchie Sacramento”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Tracks: “Midnight Flit” and “Pat Stains”
Jon Mead is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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