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Mogwai - Rock Action CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.42 | 80 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars Since I'm quite a big fan of post rock in general, I was quite interested in listening to Mogwai, given that they are one of the bigger bands in the genre, so I thought I'd be getting some really interesting, powerful songs here. What I find this album to be instead is quite dull, dreary and overall underwhelming. The big issue I have with it is that it is somewhere between the two main kinds of post rock I'm familiar with, the dreamy, beautiful soudscapes of bands like Sigur Ros, and the building, thunderous crescendos of GY!BE and This Will Destroy You, instead causing it to feel uneventful without being beautiful enough to make it interesting in that fashion. This is the first album I've heard by the band, but I have been attentively listening many times over the last couple of weeks to gain a decent understanding in order to review this fairly.

The first big issue I have with the album is actually the vocals, not the vocalist, who sounds fine, but the existence of the vocals themselves. I find that it does cause the songs to sound more dull and less expressive, which while parts of the album have some wonderfully intense backing instrumentals, the majority of the attention is drawn towards the quiet, monotone, dreary vocals, removing a lot of the emotional power that good post rock contains, instead making it sound more like an indie rock track. Another problem is the fact that some of these songs really don't do enough, taking the sound of the crescendo based post rock bands without actually crescendoing, leading to some noticeable blandness in certain tracks, especially the 9 minute Two Rights Make One Wrong. One final issue, although a less egregious one is the interludes, which both add very little to the album, but don't detract too much either.

Despite these complaints, there are definitely still some positives to this album. For one, it can really capture a mood, as this album manages to be really depressing in ways that don't feel overdramatic or false, everything here does manage to convey a feeling of emptiness quite well, it's just that the music can sometimes suffer because of this. Despite the album being filled with tracks that other than general tone, I really don';t care about, the first 2proper songs are exceptional, and the 3rd is interesting in a particular way. Sine Wave shows a lot of promise, nicely balancing some electronic elements with a gradual increase in intensity, making for a standard, yet no less awesome post rock track that hits all the right notes for me. Take Me Somewhere Nice is however undoubtedly the highlight of this album for me, being deeply melancholic, each note hitting hard emotionally as it slowly flows through its 7 minute run time, being utterly beautiful the entire way through. Dial : Revenge, while not necessarily a song I enjoy all that much, is interesting for how close to a Damon Albarn song it sounds, with the vocals sounding incredibly similar, albeit in another language.

Overall, I feel quite disappointed in this album, finding it to lack many of the qualities in which I find to make post rock great, while adding nothing particularly special to the mix, leading to a mostly safe album that doesn't quite hit many mark. I'm going to check the previous 2 albums by the band to see if anything is different with those, as there are some hints of greatness mixed amongst the boredom, but it's jst not quite enough for me to enjoy this album once those first 2 great tracks have finished. Overall, I'd recommend many post rock albums before touching this one, such as the first 2 GY!BE albums, Agaetis Byrjun by Sigur Ros, and even some Magyar Posse for a very similar sound in certain respects, while also reaching much greater heights.

Best songs: Sine Wave, Take Me Somewhere Nice

Weakest songs: Secret Pint, You Don'T Know Jesus, Two Rights Make One Wrong

Verdict: I just find the majority of this album very bland and uninventive, but also do admit that they are excellent at capturing a particular mood, it's just a shame that they don't explore that more, and meander quite a lot.

Kempokid | 2/5 |


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