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Mogwai - Young Team CD (album) cover

YOUNG TEAM

Mogwai

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.54 | 110 ratings

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Kempokid
3 stars I am very glad that I decided to give Mogwai another chance after my disappointment with Rock Action, this time deciding to go right back to the start where the band were apparently at their most minimalistic and representative of post rock. What I found here was far from a perfect album, but it's one that definitely has its fair share of good moments on it, and is just enough for me to feel like looking a bit more into the band. The main aspect of this album that I enjoy is the leaning on noise rock that a lot of the louder sections on songs have, which is definitely an interesting contrast to what often feels like an explosion of indie rock with a lot of other bands, providing a more unique listening experience. There is also a more ambient side to the album, many songs escalating very little, more like soundscapes than full fledged songs, which are often where I find this album falter.

Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home starts the album off nicely, staying mostly at one volume, but having a really nice jump near the end where the guitar distortion kicks in, while still maintaining a melancholy atmosphere, nothing particularly intense, just an extra layer of depth that creates a more grandiose atmosphere. Like Herod is where things really pick up though, with an ominous bassline, which subtley changes throughout, as the guitar switches between eerily playing off the bass, and having a very slightly more upbeat tone to it, harkening back to the previous track in terms of tone. The song then goes full throttle and explodes into a wall of noise, which ot me sounds like utter panic as everything seems to be falling apart at the seams, the repetitive, wailing guitars sounding similar to some sort of emergency siren. Katrien feels very disappointing to me after the incredible heights the previous song reached, this one being a fuzzy, meandering experience with some spoken word that adds absolutely nothing. Tracy is somewhat better, feeling as if something's taking place, especially with the noise in the background adding additional weight to the core melody, which in itself is extremely good. It goes on for a bit too long, but it's nothing egregious. Summer further picks up in terms of energy, having a faster pace and reminding me strongly of the intro to Metallica's Fade To Black, although I do find the heavier sections here to lack any sort of major impact. WIth Portfolio on the other hand causes the flow of the album to fall flat, being nothing more than a wonky sounding piano arrangement with annoying noise plastered haphazardly over the top. R U Still In 2 It? is the only song with proper vocals, an it is by far the most bleak song here, and while it does drag on a bit, the way it captures such a feeling of isolation is impeccable, so tonally it's extremely good. The final track is also regarded as the best that the band has released, and for good reason I'd say, as the rest of Young Team almost feels as if it simply served as a 50 minute prelude for Mogwai Fear Satan. After an album filled with emptiness and melancholy, this track acts as a ray of sunshine piercing through the clouds, and is very uplifting, being in an absolute constant state of building up and hitting cacophonous climaxes. The song is in a constant state of movement, along with being amazingly powerful. This isn't the best post rock song I've ever heard, but even so, it's still an amazing song that almost makes the multitude of weak points throughout the rest of the album worth it.

Overall, this akbum has some amazing high points on it, but is also rife with filler tracks and a gneerally meandering feel to it, I personally feel like they could have cut this album down to about 45 minutes and had missed out on very little. Overall, while I do like the difference in sound this album has, leaning more on noise than indie rock in many points, it still ultimately doesn't work amazingly on the basis of many of the compositions feeling as if they could have used some tweaking and cutting. I still stand by the fact that I feel as if this album has made me see Mogwai in a more positive light after Rock Action, to the point where I want to listen to some of their other material, but this album does have some flaws, even if Like Herod and Mogwai Fear Satan are both absolutely killer.

Best songs: Like Herod, Mogwai Fear Satan

Weakest songs: Katrien, With Portfolio, Radar Maker

Verdict: Not where I'd start with post rock, but a pretty decent album, despite it being on the overlong side of things. Give it a listen if you enjoy post rock, but this isn't where I'd recommend you start off in the genre.

Kempokid | 3/5 |

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