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Mogwai - Young Team CD (album) cover

YOUNG TEAM

Mogwai

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.57 | 100 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Mogwai is a band that has had quite a large influence on many post-rock bands and they are credited for the post-rock formula of playing softly, building a long crescendo and reaching the payoff in a loud and noisy climax by the end of the song. While it's true that some of their music follows this formula, for the most part, I don't see where that applies to the majority of their music. What I find is a very effective use of dynamics that aren't always determined simply by the addition of more layers, which is a trap that many post-rock imitators fall into. In this album, you hear the use of that formula only a few times, on "Like Herod" and "Mogwai Fear Satan". I just think that Mogwai does the formula so much better in that they aren't afraid to do variations on the formula or just ignore it all together, and then there is what I said about dynamics earlier.

This being an early album from the band, I went into it expecting it to be more formulaic and noisy. Yes, there is some of that here, but overall, the album is a lot more diverse then I expected. I have grown to love this album and most of their other work too. This album is a lot more rough, as some have pointed out, but I happen to like that in this album. It makes things more real and emotional to me when I listen to it.

Right off the bat, you know this is a dynamic album. There is the build up, climax and release in both the first two tracks. Of course, "Like Herod" has a much longer climatic passage, in fact the soft to loud formula takes place more than once, and there isn't always a build up, sometimes it is an instant change. This song has become a fan favorite and is still a concert staple. "Katrien" uses that dynamic change that Mogwai is famous for and adds some keyboards to the mix. "Radar Maker" is a short keyboard led song that is fairly ambient and a nice change of pace. Ambience continues in Tracy which is named after Tracey Chapman because her song "Fast Car" reminded them of an earlier version of this song. It is played over two prank calls made by the band, but the calls are left in the background creating an ambient feel. It stays pretty quiet throughout with only a slight crescendo. "R U Still In 2 It" is an almost avant garde type piece with vocals sung by Aiden Moffat from Arab Strap, who has guested from time to time with the band to recreate the song in live performances. It has a strange sort of beauty, though it is nothing like what you expect. "A Cheery Wave...." is a nice short interlude that could have actually closed the album. But "Mogwai Fear Satan", a 16 minute rock masterpiece does that job quite effectively. This is a beautiful study of dynamics and emotion topped off with a flute weaving around the guitars in the more quiet passages and very excellent drum hooks throughout. It ends free floating on feedback and flute quite nicely.

Quite a surprising debut from this iconic band. Very enjoyable, a bit rough around the edges but that works to it's advantage. A little more development from time to time would be nice and some songs would have worked better with less ambient vocals behind them in things like phone conversations, but this is a minor issue. Mogwai's sound would become more adventurous as time goes on, but this album is a definite strong 4 star album.

TCat | 4/5 |

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