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Mogwai Come On Die Young album cover
2.92 | 76 ratings | 11 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Punk Rock (2:08)
2. Cody (6:33)
3. Helps Both Ways (4:53)
4. Year 2000 Non-Compliant Cardia (3:25)
5. Kappa (4:52)
6. Waltz For Aidan (3:44)
7. May Nothing But Happiness Come Through Your Door (8:29)
8. Oh! How The Dogs Stack Up (2:03)
9. Ex-Cowboy (9:09)
10. Chocky (9:23)
11. Christmas Steps (10:39)
12. Punk Rock/Puff Daddy/An Chris (2:14)

Total time 67:32

Bonus CD/LPs from 2014 reissue:
1. Nick Drake (3:16)
2. Waltz For Aidan (Chem19 Demo) (3:40)
3. Christmas Steps (Chem19 Demo) (6:41) *
4. Rollerball (Chem19 Demo) (3:51)
5. 7- 5 (Chem19 Demo) (6:37) *
6. Untitled (6:07)
7. Quiet Stereo Dee (4:07)
8. Arundel (2:59)
9. Cody (CaVa Sessions) (5:58)
10. Ex-Cowboy (CaVa Sessions) (9:12)
11. Spoon Test (CaVa Sessions) (6:29)
12. Punk Rock: (CaVa Sessions) (2:12)
13. Helicon 2 (CaVa Church Live) (3:05)
14. Satchel Panzer (CaVa Church Live) (1:24)
15. Kappa (CaVa Church Live) (4:38)
16. Helps Both Ways (Original Version) (5:22)
17. Hugh Dallas (8:31)

* Only on LP edition

Total time 84:09

Line-up / Musicians

- Stuart Braithwaite / guitar, vocals (2)
- John Cummings / guitars
- Barry Burns / flute, guitar, piano, keyboards
- Dominic Aitchison / bass
- Martin Bulloch / drums

- Iggy Pop / spoken voice (1)
- Richard Formby / lap steel guitar (2)
- Luke Sutherland / violin (11)
- Wayne Myers / trombone (12)
- Dave Fridmann / various instruments, producing & mixing

Releases information

Artwork: Adam Piggot

CD Chemikal Underground ‎- chem033cd (1999, UK)
2xCD Chemikal Underground ‎- chem0133cd (2014, UK) With bonus CD including 15 tracks (#2-10 & 14 previously unreleased)

2xLP Chemikal Underground ‎- chem033 (1999, UK)
4xLP Chemikal Underground ‎- chem133 (2014, UK) With 17 bonus tracks (#2-10,14,16 & 17 previously unreleased)

Thanks to silentman for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MOGWAI Come On Die Young ratings distribution

(76 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (49%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

MOGWAI Come On Die Young reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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...

Review by Prog-jester
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.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Come on Die Young" is the second full-length studio album by Scottish post-rock band Mogwai. The album was released through Chemikal Underground in March 1999. Itīs the successor to "Mogwai Young Team" (also known as "Young Team") from October 1997.

The music style has changed much since the debut as "Come on Die Young" is a bit more restrained/subtle and the noisy distorted eruptions are very few (listen to "Christmas Steps" to hear an example of such an eruption). Itīs predominantly a pretty mellow and atmospheric release. The album opens with the atmospheric/spoken work sampled "Punk Rock", which serves as an introduction to the album and then "Cody" kicks in. Itīs the sole track on the album featuring vocals (if you discount the spoken word samples which appear throughout the album). Itīs a mellow, minimalistic, and repetitive track, but it works pretty well. The remaining part of the album is purely instrumental atmospheric post-rock. Slow building, atmospheric, melancholic, and often repetitive in nature.

Upon conclusion "Come on Die Young" is a solid release, and itīs also quite bold to change your sound as much as Mogwai have done here. When that is said 12 tracks and a total playing time of 67:38 minutes are simply too much, when most of the tracks live in the same territory as far as timbre, tempo, and mood go, and only few of them stand out (the three above mentioned tracks are some of them). A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Review by 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

Review by EatThatPhonebook
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.

Review by Warthur
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.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Mogwai's second full length album "Come On Die Young" (released in 1999) was the first album to feature Barry Burns who had worked with the band in the past and was made one of the core members. This would be the last time that Mogwai's line up would change until 2015. The critics were a bit harsh with the album after they raved over the debut album, mostly because the sound was less intense. Mogwai wanted to create a sparser sound for this album inspired by Nick Drake, The Cure, Slint and Low. The critics were not so happy about the change. However, the album proves to be a step in the right direction in the long run as it sees the band not settling in on a single sound, but branching out and trying out new styles.

The original plan for the album was to be quite shorter, but the record label talked them into including more tracks that they had recorded during the recording process, so the album ended up having a total length of over an hour, 67 minutes to be a little more exact. The first track "Punk Rock" is a pensive track featuring a simple electric guitar playing while Iggy Pop talks in the background. This speech is taken from an interview done in March of 1977, about punk rock, of course. This is followed by "Cody", which is slow and pensive also, but has a steady beat behind the guitar. The track also includes distinct vocals, where most of Mogwai's material that features vocals that are subdued and mixed down deep so that they are almost not heard, but more like becoming as an instrument. This track also has a distinct melody, a slide guitar and more accessible than normal. The melody is nice and the feeling is quite relaxed, a lovely sound.

"Helps Both Ways" originally featured John Madden doing a commentary during a game in 1998, but this was replaced with another commentary later because the use was unauthorized. While this commentary plays softly in the background, almost like a TV playing, the guitars, synths and flute play along slowly and pensively to the beat. Again, it's a nice, slow track, that stays mellow throughout. After this point, the music continues in the same slow or moderately slow style with pensive guitars, synths and occasional flute with differing effects come in. The melodies get less interesting and the songs start sounding a bit same-y and lackadaisical. It's not bad if you just want to chill and float along, but it doesn't invoke the emotion of "Young Team" or some of their other, later albums.

"May Nothing But Happiness Come Through Your Door" finally stretches the length to exceed 8 minutes, but continues with that same feeling. However, it does have time to develop and crescendo to where there is more intensity, but nothing much else changes during the duration of the track. "Ex-Cowboy" and "Chocky" are also longer tracks at over 9 minutes. The grandeur that is missed in most of this album starts to come out on "Ex-Cowboy" and, with the help of violin, builds into a wall of sound, but reaches the climax quickly and then dies down again and goes quite minimal for a while before building again, this time to a longer climactic section. It's better, but not very ingenious. "Chocky" is a much better track that lessens the guitar and increases the keyboards, creating a different texture and giving the listener more variety. It features a repeating piano line against soft droning in the background. Feedback and effects build out of the drone when the piano stops and things increase in volume, and then fall back. Another piano melody begins, this time more distinct and the soft drone continues in the background and drums carry a steady beat. It builds quite slowly, most of the build coming out of the drone as individual sounds become more apparent as the volume increases. Towards the end of the track, the piano ends, but the drone suddenly grows much louder and then cuts off.

"Christmas Steps" is the longest track at over 10 minutes, and is more of a return to form of the previous album, more intense and grandiose. There was a track on Mogwai's earlier EP "No Education = No Future" called "Xmas Steps". The melody of both songs is pretty much the same, but "Christmas Steps" is much slower than the original. The structure is pretty close though as the guitar melody is repeated and then doubled and improvised on as the music continues to grow and the guitars play repeated chords. Later, as the tempo and loudness increases, the guitars get distorted and quite heavy. After 6 minutes, things clear up as the noisy background drops off and then a violin solo starts up deep in the background. The music gets very quiet until the end as just the guitars play their repeating melody and the violin continues. This and "Chocky" are definitely the highlights of the album.

Though not as interesting as some of their later, more developed albums, or their previous album, "Come On Die Young" still has it's great moments, they are just a lot fewer and farther between as the album is more of a study in minimalism. There is nothing wrong with that, but the middle of the album definitely sags quite a bit as the songs start to sound too much the same. The best parts of the album are the first 3 tracks and the last 3 (not counting the final postlude track, which is pretty much a throw away, short track). I wouldn't start exploring Mogwai's music with this album, but it is a good one to come back to later mostly for the better tracks.

Latest members reviews

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 a ... (read more)

Report this review (#136125) | Posted by razifa | Tuesday, September 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#53581) | Posted by | Thursday, October 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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 o ... (read more)

Report this review (#39236) | Posted by Spanky | Tuesday, July 12, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#35036) | Posted by BrainRock Ben | Saturday, May 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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