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Mogwai - As the Love Continues CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.41 | 18 ratings

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The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Mogwai are a 4-piece post rock band from Glasgow, Scotland and "As the Love Continues" is their 10th studio album. I have always been a passive fan of Mogwai. I must admit the only previous records I ever got really into were "Rock Action" and "Mr Beast". I did go and see them once at the Barrowlands and they are some live band. The reason why I got into this album was very much because of the hype leading up to it. If you follow the bands twitter account, you will know exactly what I mean as the band pushed for number 1 in the album charts for their first time in their history and they did achieve it. It was something to behold with many bands retweeting Mogwai's pleas to stream/buy their album. Everyone in the rock community and beyond wanted to see them do it. I do not know the last time an instrumental rock album got to number 1 but I think you would have to go back several years. A truly astonishing feat. Now to get into the album itself. On the surface and after a few listens it does give the feel of a typical Mogwai album. Those kinds of songs which build and build then reaching crashing climax and create this wall of sound. Which if turned up loud will go right through you. But on further inspection while I would say this is the case for most songs on the album. Not only are their exceptions; But the songs which do follow this quiet/loud formula do so by going in different directions to get to that wall of sound destination. For example, "Here We, Here We, Here We Go Forever" has an electronic vibe throughout the song, particularly at the start. Then that is followed by "Dry Fantasy" which uses keyboards and is a song which does not actually peak and acts as more of an interlude. "F off money" goes along the same lines as "Dry Fantasy" to begin with but has a heavier mid and end section.

Opener "To the bin my friend..." is perhaps more what you would expect from Mogwai being this heavy and driving guitars. "Ceiling Granny", "Drive the Nail" and "Supposedly, We Were Nightmares" also follow this pattern and are a great reminder of what made Mogwai so good in the first place. "Pat Stains" for me is for me the weakest moment on the album. It just feels like the build-up has this same loop going round and round which gets irritating. Then the main part or the chorus goes into another repetitive loop and those two loops go back and forward for the entire song which lasts 7 minutes. A very skippable track.

A track which really stands out like a sore thumb on the album is "Ritchie Sacramento". The reason being it is one of the few tracks Mogwai have ever done (and I do not know exactly how many times they have done this) that has vocals on them. Now do not get me wrong it is a chirpy we number, which has a Teenage Fanclub sort of vibe. It is a good song. But does it fit on a post rock album and should it be something that a post rock band does? To me it feels like they have broken the rules when it comes to post rock music. No singing allowed :-P. I know rules are there to be broken but this song does feel out of place on this album and maybe should be left to a side project. It is clear though that the vocalist can sing though.

Another track which stands out for me and is currently my favourite on the album is "Midnight Flit". The reason for this is because they didn't have that wall of noise, I was talking about earlier so it is a bit different. What they do have in this song is a string section which adds so much to the song. I think when you talk about bands evolving now and doing something different. It seems like the first answer is to bring in a string section. Look at the Foo Fighters latest album and the song "Waiting on a War". Then there are bands like Travis, Alter Bridge and Bring me the horizon doing gigs with orchestras. Strings seem to be in just now and are a way giving bands that extra dynamic and I have to say I love it. And I love the way Mogwai have used strings on this track as they really are in the foreground of the mix.

Overall, this album has been a slow burner for me. Initially I thought this was just a run of the mill Mogwai album with their quiet loud approach but on further inspection they have used things like electronics and strings to make things more interesting. Even if it was just the quiet/loud approach there are not many bands that do it to quite the same level as Mogwai. There is a reason they have been around for 25 years and have been one of the top bands in their genre all that time too. Reaching number one was not just a triumph for post rock, it was a triumph for rock music in general.

The Rain Man | 3/5 |


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