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Mogwai - Rock Action CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.42 | 79 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I must confess that I'm quite new to the whole "post-rock" thing, but Godspeed You Black Emperor! records I was lucky enough to become familiar with made me stunned, to say the least. I've never in my life heard the music so monotonous, repetive and minimalist that can be so fascinating, addicting, atmospheric, and emotional at the same time. It inspired me to dig further...

Occasional Mogwai songs I was listening to on the alternative radio some time ago were really promising. This particular album seemed to be a very good starting point (being quite short, not expensive and with many positive reviews), so I finally decided to acquire a copy. At a first listen I wasn't very impressed by what I heard, but subsequent listenings quickly revealed all beauty of this album to me.

The album starts with 'Sine Wave'. The songs was build on very simple themes played on organ, piano and multiple guitars that provide background for wave of very agressive industrial noise and drumming which seem to be carrying the composition's main motif. This noise gets more and more intense, expressing the emotional coldness, reaching the point that is leaving the listener completely devasted, and then it until it starts fading away. The three compositions that follow the song are definitely calmer, even if extremely moody, being a sort of rest after such "welcome". All are songs in the strict sense, that are very rare for Mogwai. "Dial/Revenge" is especially effective with great acoustic guitar parts and vocals in Welsh sung by Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals). Yet all still hold a strange feeling of unease that captures the listener. "You Don't Know Jesus" (I don't know why but I like this title really!) is the only track here closer to "traditional" post-rock (in GSBE! sense). It progresses from a slow, simple guitar melody to a powerful climax. "2 Rights Make One Wrong" is very similar for its first four minutes but then the atmosphere changes radically, as the band starts experimenting with treated banjo, horns, distorted vocals and electronic percussion. To great effect! After all this insanity "Secret Pint" is "just" a beautiful piano based ballad with some acoustic guitar and "vinyl" hissings in the background, closing the album gracefully.

I have one complaint however: I think the album is slightly over-produced. Sure, many of these electronic touches really add something valueable to music, but I don't think it's necessery in every composition (especially in "You Don't Know Jesus" around second minute, if you have a weaker audio set it can get a bit messy).

Overally, a great record. Highly recommended to fans of 70's progressive rock looking for something ambitious, original and at times challenging.

| 4/5 |


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