Sunday, 23 October 2011

EP Review - Mogwai - Earth Division

Okay so this is incredibly late, but I had a whole heap of half started reviews sitting about that I decided I should take the time to finish. And 'Earth Divisions' really does deserve that, because it is another excellent offering from Mogwai.

Released on Rock Action Records on the 12th September, 'Earth Divisions' is the 10th EP from the Glasgow band, and features four tracks taken from the same recordings that brought life to their latest LP 'Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will' which was released earlier this year.

Get To France

A soft, melodic piano number. Hauntingly quiet at first, causing one to check the sleeve to see if you've accidently picked up the wrong record. The strings, provided by serial collaborator Luke Sutherland, harmonise in the background. The song builds, with an eerie twinkling repitition following each piano sequence. Mogwai are known for their ability to craft and build, often culminating in a heart stopping crescendo. 'Get To France' sounds like it could go that way given another two/three minutes. Despite this, the track is a fine opener, different and ethereal.

Hounds Of Winter

'Hounds Of Winter' is the only track with vocals (one in four is not a bad ratio!). It's a softer, quieter number; think mellow piano, acoustic guitars and gentle vocals. About a minute in the strings pick up the volume a bit, but to be honest it's not Mogwai at their best. Having said that it's still a song that were I to hear without knowing who it was I would still like.

Drunk And Crazy

This is the real keeper. Out goes the introspective mellowness and in come fuzzy guitars, effects and raw bass. Starting off with pounding, staticy guitars which whirl and whoosh around, the track suddenly halts you in your tracks halfway through, the brief pause ushering in soaring strings, as if this is the eye of the hurricane. And duly on time, the track shifts back, throwing you right back into the storm which Mogwai are so adept at doing.

Does This Always Happen?

The last track harks back to the creepiness that was present in opener 'Get To France'. A single guitar riff is plucked on an acoustic guitar, strings float about in the background, and a gentle refrain chimes in on the piano. About a minute and a half in, the bass joins the ensemble with the same riff. Again it's simply done, and it brings the EP to solemn close.

Overall I really like this little collection of songs. I know it's not classic Mogwai, but it's still head and shoulders above a lot of what is out there at the moment. The real stand outs for me are 'Get To France' and 'Drunk And Crazy'. Check out the latter below.

You can buy Mogwai - 'Earth Division' on CD or 12" Vinyl here.

No comments:

Post a Comment