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Mogwai - Earth Division CD (album) cover

EARTH DIVISION

Mogwai

Post Rock/Math rock


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HolyMoly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Retired Admin
3 stars This is an EP released shortly after Mogwai's impressive Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will album in 2011. It has similar album cover graphics, but musically it is very much a separate entity, although complementary. It contains four tracks totaling around 16 minutes, and all four of these tracks show Mogwai in their "mellow mode", with string arrangements on every track, playing a more central role than usual for Mogwai. The first track, "Get To France", is an instrumental based on a simple quiet piano theme. The following ""Hound of Winter" is the only track with vocals, and is based around an acoustic guitar. "Drunk and Crazy" turns up the juice just a little bit, being a placid track but clouded with sheets of white guitar noise and strings. And finally there is "Does This Always Happen?", bringing all the prior elements together into a typical, albeit quiet, Mogwai mood piece.

Overall the EP is underwhelming, but for those who are fans and can hear this EP in its proper context, it will be a necessary addition to your collection. Nowhere else is Mogwai so pastoral and just plain relaxing over an entire release (though the Zidane soundtrack comes close). None of their trademark quiet-to-loud eruptions here; though in reality they've kind of moved away from that tendency on recent albums anyway. I wish it were a little bit longer, but what's here is very pretty indeed and will not cause any raised eyebrows at your next dinner party.

Report this review (#937522)
Posted Sunday, March 31, 2013 | Review Permalink
TCat
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars Earth Division is an EP that was released by Mogwai in 2011. The 4 tracks on the EP were exclusive to the recording and were recorded during the same sessions as "Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will" and released later in the same year. These tracks just didn't seem to be in the same style as what was on the album in that they were quieter tracks, so the band released them separately to show off that quiet side of the band.

"Get to France" proves that fact right away as it is led off by a solo piano and later joined by strings and various keyboard stylings. The track is a lovely, almost cinematic theme that stays soft throughout. "Hound of Winter" is led more by an acoustic guitar, this time with twinkling piano, soft accordion effects and swelling strings and guitars. There are vocals in this track, the singing kept pensive, yet out front instead of buried and subdued. Again, this track is beautiful and cinematic.

"Drunk and Crazy" is harsher with thick droning guitars. The guitar wall waxes and wanes as it goes on, the drums are somewhat subdued into the mix. At 2 minutes, the wall of sound expires and we are left with pleading strings. Piano chords chime in with a fuzzy effect making things a bit unsettling. As the music builds a bit, the harsh wall of guitars push the music forward again, first tentatively and then almost taking completely over again. "Does this Always Happen?" quiets things down again with a chiming guitar riff and a violin creating another beautiful theme. Piano again joins in with bass and the piece continues along with that same soundtrack feel as before.

The album is exquisitely lovely with sadness and pain expressed in a heartfelt way mostly unlike the band has done before. It shows a more vulnerable side of the band and their music. It is obvious why this music had to be separated from the album and placed here on its own. The biggest fault of this, as is the problem with many short EPs, is that it is too short. You only want to hear more of this by the time it ends. But the music is lovely enough to merit a 4 star rating.

Report this review (#2313493)
Posted Friday, February 7, 2020 | Review Permalink

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