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Mogwai - Come On Die Young CD (album) cover



Post Rock/Math rock

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4 stars MOGWAI's slowest and most depressing album, but I mean that in a good way! Without a doubt, this thing is moody. It's MOGWAI's second release, and I heard it described once as "music to commit suicide by." Well, maybe so, and the song "Cody" - an angram of "Come On Die Young" - reads like a suicide note. But it really is beautiful music by which to drink coffee and read a book.

We kick off with a spoken word track of Iggy Pop on a talk show describing the evils of punk-rock, called "Punk Rock," which is ironic because MOGWAI has one foot in the punk world and prog world. The album ends with "Punk Rock/Puff Daddy/ANTiCHRiST." The song is obviously a remix of the opening track, sort of bookending the album (no idea about the Antichrist part). After the only song, "Cody," we get nine instrumentals, each slightly louder than the other, making the entire album one long crescendo. It's brilliantly done and has great melodies throughout. "Patient" is a word that describes MOGWAI's style on this album. Highly recommended to the mentally-stable. Depressed folks should stay away!

Report this review (#35036)
Posted Saturday, May 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars This album can really be summed up in one word: Boring. There's really not a whole lot going on here as far as diversity in sound or, well anything for that matter. This is nothing like Mogwai's later releases. Their other material surpasses this by leaps and bounds in just bout every aspect of their music.
Report this review (#39236)
Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Having recently enjoyed the "Government Commissions" CD, I decided to take a listen to CODY for the first time in ages. Bearing in mind I used to love this album back in the day and found it immensly influential on my understanding of what contemporary indie-rock with a progressive slant could be, I was surprised to find it pretty tedious in '05.

I guess in the light of the rich production and textured nature of their more recent studio releases ("Rock Action" + "Happy Songs..."), and the incendiary power of the better tracks from "Government..." this record seems kinda flat, and lacking in ideas; which is a dire situation for a predominately instrumental group. Don't get me wrong "X-Mas Steps" still rocks very hard and "Cody" is still beautiful and chilling, but time may not have been kind to "Come on Die Young." The album feels somewhat dated and far too dry. I think newcomers to Mogwai would be better off checking out "Rock Action" and "Government..." first, and if they really dig what they hear work their way backwards.

Report this review (#53581)
Posted Thursday, October 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
The T
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars When I bought this album, I did it because I wanted to explore that most unknown of genres (to me) that was post-rock. I didn't own any cd by any of the bands listed here as post-rock so I chose to buy a few from the most well-rated groups I could find in the archives. That's how I end with Godspeed you Black Emperor, Sigur Ros and Mogwai in my hands. Now, with GYBE and SR I found what I was looking for, but with Mogwai I just couldn't find anywhere their best rated album, so I had to purchase this one. So, what can I say about my first post-rock experience?

I still haven't had one.

Or that I think after listening to this album. For, if THIS is how all post-rock sounds like, I'm in for a dissapointment. So I choose to trust that this was just an unlucky bad purchase. I keep on believing that all the praise for GYBE and SR is deserved. With mogwai, on the other hand, I think I just made a mistake. A mistake because I should have waited and get another one of their releases online, instead of rushing and buying this pretty boring record which could be giving post-rock a bad name.

The problem is not that the music is bad, for it isn't. The problem is that the music is too repetitive, too low-note, too low-volume, always the SAME. What you get with CODY is a colection of some of the most depressed music you'll ever hear... I mean, I've heard Radiohead's OK Computer a few days before, and that album felt like A JOYOUS FESTIVAL after having listened to this suicide-attempt of a record (come on, the name of the album is COME ON DIE YOUNG...). What you get with CODY is clean guitars played with little distorsion and in arpeggios and broken chords almost all the time, and ALL OF THE TIME with the utmost delicacy, as if the guitar player was afraid to break a string during the recording sessions; you get every other instrument in the same vein as the guitar: low volume (the drums are barely hearable all the way till the next-to-last song), and most of time is all instrumental. Proper singing you only get in "Cody", and like everything else in this record, done after having ingested plenty of tranquilizers. There's a little piano here and there, but never something that will get you interested in the music. This is just MOOD music, and the saddest mood at that. There's hardly any dynamics and tempo changes going on, and THAT's the major problem: some of the songs are actually decent, but when you are subjected to track after track after track of THE SAME TEMPO WITH THE SAME INTENSITY (I would say it's 60 bpm played molto pianissimo), it all gets boring, tiresome, not interesting at all.

The tracks? It's really quite a task having to remember any of them after just two listens, or after four, or after ten, because most of them are too SIMILAR. But I'll point out as the highlights (the word "high" sounds a little off-topic when talking about this from-the-gutter music) the first proper song (CODY) and, without a doubt the best and actually a pretty good number, Christmas Steps, which has (miracle!!) some intensity dynamics going on (there's actually a crescendo in the track), some cymbals (incredible) and some loud guitars (just impossible to believe). And maybe, just MAYBE, if you listen one track now, one song then, one song one day, one track another day, most of them would seem OK; the problem is hearing the whole thing IN ONE LISTEN. It's just difficult. It's just boring.

This is depressive music. This is sedated music. This sounds like a band of decent musicians getting high (I'd say getting LOW) on something and then pluggin' in the instruments to record an album. This would be so MUCH BETTER with just two or three tracks in a different tempo... Yes, I'm not asking for happy music! I'm just asking for music THAT DOESN"T SOUND THE SAME SPEED ALL THE TIME!!

Recommended for: people, like me, who like to get as many prog-albums as possible; prog lovers with a thing for depressing music; post-rock ultra-fans.

Not recommended for: Fans of really good albums, really good music; prog-lovers that still don't know post-rock: beware! This is not the best entrance into that genre!... But most of all, not recommended for people in the midst of a depression: after this, you may start looking for a bridge from where to jump...

Report this review (#103300)
Posted Saturday, December 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars First Collad review! ;)

I failed to love MOGWAI that much as I adore GODSPEEDS and MONO. Some tracks are nice (especially on that one - “Christmas Steps”, “Chocky”, “Ex-Cowboy”…all are hidden at the end), but most of the time they just keep me cold. I see their drone roots (some tunes almost PELICANish!), I enjoy their simple 2-3 notes based riffs and structures, I even can endure these noises Post-Rock has always been proud with, but it feels like the band will never jump over their own heads. Even “Happy Songs…” is not an exception, and I gave it 4 stars only because of its concise form and rather high percent of good tunes’ concentration. So, this is “like-it/hate-it” kind of an album: if you like the genre it’s a good record, but you can give it a miss without hurting your musical experience. I like Post-Rock, but every time it comes to MOGWAI, I simply feel bored. 2,5 stars.

Report this review (#123237)
Posted Thursday, May 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Interesting album!!!

Before I purchased this album I had no post-rock in my collection and this album introduced me to this genre. In my search for new musical proposals I decided to explore this kind of music. So, once when I went to my CD store I ask myself: Mogwai, why not? I bought this album probably for curiosity after listening only a couple of tracks.

But what is CODY like and how to describe Mogwai's music?

Their music is fully instrumental with a mix of subtle sounds like voices, piano melodies, guitar distortions, and ambient sounds all perfectly fit into wide musical passages. All the sounds are ornamented with plain but delicate percussions which makes it more accessible than other bands in this genre.

I feel this album, like many other in post-rock, needs to be listened and understood as a whole and not as a group of individual tracks. There's a kind of evolution through the music and an implicit concept where sadness and anger converges.

In conclusion, if you are an open-minded and patient person you will find in CODY a really interesting and enjoyable album. Either way of you are looking for symphonic arrangements, complex riffs and virtuosity post-rock is not for you.

Personally, I enjoy a lot this album which I consider an exceptional recording and hope exploring into more post-rock bands eventually. So why my rating is only 3 stars? Well, not every album you enjoy is a masterpiece. I think this album is not recommended for every kind of taste.


Report this review (#136125)
Posted Tuesday, September 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Come on Die Young is the second studio album from Scottish experimental/ post rock act Mogwai. Itīs safe to say that I wasnīt too impressed with Mogwaiīs debut album Young Team. Itīs not that itīs a bad album and I did rate it 3 stars, but it doesnīt touch me or move me the way itīs probably supposed to and most of the time I find it rather dull. Iīm afraid the same can be said about Come on Die Young.

The style hasnīt changed much since the debut even though Come on Die Young is a bit more restrained and the noisy eruptions are very few ( listen to Christmas Steps). Itīs actually a pretty mellow album. I am very happy about the way the album starts as Punk Rock and the only vocal track on the album called Cody are very good songs, but soon the minimalistic riffs and repetitive structures of the songs do me in. This is not music that I can sit and listen to for details and analysis, but more a background album for relaxation. I know this all sounds very negative, but there are times when this album is just the right medicine.

The musicianship is good and Iīm glad to hear that guitarist Stuart Braithwaite is also a capable singer.

The production is minimalistic and earthy, and personally I miss a grander sound.

Come on Die Young is a good album but lacks the variation and compositional sophistication to become excellent. 3 SMALL stars is deserved.

Report this review (#194635)
Posted Monday, December 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
1 stars Sometimes instrumental post-rock albums can really challenge the listener with unconventional sounds and nuanced songwriting. "Come on Die Young" is not one them.

As soon as the intriguing introduction "Punk Rock" fades away, a bland, repetative exercise in pointless guitar strumming and rhythmic minimalism aimlessly roams. Fans of the post-rock genre are used to this, at least to some degree, but for many groups this sort of subtle noodling acts as the calm before the storm... on this release, it's the name of the game, and it isn't even done that well. All the songs are very similar, very sedated, and very bland. The listener will be hard-pressed to remember anything specific about these songs, since they all feel as if they're simply there, filling airy space which could be filled with something more interesting.

Many other post-rock bands do what Mogwai is doing here much better, and "Come on Die Young" should be overlooked by all but the most dedicated fans of the genre.

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 1 Lyrics/Vocals: NA Style/Emotion/Replay: 1

Report this review (#250063)
Posted Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars 5/10

"Come On Die Young" isn't a disaster, but it's a disappointment nevertheless.

After the successful and praised "Young Team", Mogwai had still a lot to prove, but from there on they never reached the same levels as the debut. "Come On Die Young" is the follow up, and I have to say it is the least enjoyable Mogwai album I've heard so far.

First off, the band decided to go towards a less eclectic sound and chose to concentrate exclusively on the guitars and give more vocals, possibly to sound a little more accessible. The walls of distortion we heard on the debut are here much less, popping out only in the end of the album, and as a result the music is really mellow, soft, and with slow rhythms, without any build up. The samples are still here, but, except for the Iggy Pop discussion in the intro of the album, they just don't do anything for me. Because of the monotone tone this LP has, I am challenged to call this Post-Rock, while Slowcore sounds more fit to it, because of its minimalism.

This, however, is not a complete disaster of an album: some of these slow moments are good, like "Year 2000 Non Compliant Cardia", the longer "May Nothing But Happiness Come Through Your Door". The last three songs (without counting the outro) are the only ones with a distinct climax, and it might sound relieving for some, but to me, they don't feel as powerful as they use to be with the debut.

"Come On Die Young", despite not being a disaster, is a pretty disappointing album. This album is also the first sign of the Mogwai syndrome: every album they'll make from there on will be compared to "Young Team" and snobbed because it doesn't go near it. It is still a surprise to me though that this band is possibly one of the most popular Post-Rock bands.

Report this review (#563886)
Posted Monday, November 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Personally, I think Come On Die Young gets a raw deal. The secret for getting maximum appreciation out of it is to release that the album represents Mogwai's flirtation with ambient, taking their post-rock sound closer to the ambient, minimalistic territory explored by Brian Eno decades earlier than it had ever been. The end result is a subdued, tranquil, semi-sedated album which might not have those noisy crescendos post-rock fans expect from Mogwai, but represents an intriguingly different sound for them. I might not need more than one album from Mogwai in this vein, but I am profoundly glad they attempted the experiment and I think the results are more interesting than they are often given credit for.

And you've got to love the Iggy Pop monologue it kicks off with.

Report this review (#635671)
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 | Review Permalink

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