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Mogwai - Young Team CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.55 | 111 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 8/10

"Young Team" is a sonic trip that is like no other: an essential Post-Rock recording.

When Post-Rock is mentioned, different people think different things: some might relate it to the dreamy Sigur Ros, more "intellectual" ones will think about Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the ones that like it heavier might associate immediately with Math Rock acts such as Don Caballero, and people who live for classic rock music think of Slint. Usually, the more indie/alternative guy would go for Mogwai, possibly the Post-Rock band that is the ideal band of such kind of music, and it's mostly because of their debut album, "Young Team", which is sadly the only one that is really acclaimed, while everything else they did was and is extremely underrated. However, Mogwai still seem to be on the tip of everyone's tongue, always.

"Young Team" is for Post-Rock an important album, being one of the earliest (1997), the same year as "F#A#Infinity". It is important because it showed what post-rock should be and is: creating atmosphere and non rock textures with typical rock instruments, using tremolo guitar, samples, and (almost) no vocals. Mogwai in particular though is much more concentrated on the guitar, alternating slow, clean moments with distorted walls of sound. Mogwai makes beauty and violence collide in a way that was never played before in the history of music, despite some Slint influences here and there. They also use a great amount of samples, accompanied by slow guitars, giving an interesting and unique atmosphere that like I said was pretty much new at the time. Of course, this album has also tons of variety in sounds; along we find piano, flutes, and a decent amount of electronics, a lot of experimentations with guitar sounds, as well as some delicate vocals by guest musicians. But the music of Mogwai feels so complete without the vocals, thus I guarantee nobody will miss them when they aren't around, as a matter of fact, they aren't really that memorable.

"Young Team" feels like one, long piece of music, instead of ten separate tracks, a sonic trip that is like no other, unique and innovative in its structure. No clear melodies, just concrete atmosphere, that tells so many more stories than a band with actual lyrics. Themes are centered a lot on urban life, living in solitude and sadness even when among civilization, but the shimmering beauty of some moments are little drops of hope poured by the little, unknown people who live their lives one day after another without really living. It is a quite complex trip the one Mogwai presents with their debut, but as you fall in it, you drown, gracefully, and come back breathing only after it's entire 64 minutes.

Songs like "Mogwai Fear Satan", arguably the best Mogwai song ever, the everlasting cliffhanging "Like Herod", the beautifully executed "Tracy", the relaxing intro of the album "Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home", and many others are landmark songs for any Post- Rock enthusiast, even the minor songs, and even the ones that maybe turn me off just a little bit, are full of effective and credible emotion, something that isn't easy to forget.

An album that is absolutely essential for any Post-Rock fan, one of those albums that defined the genre as it is today, along with those other bands we constantly hear about. If you want to feel chills, walls of sound, cleanness, and spacey tunes all in one album, this classic is for you.

EatThatPhonebook | 4/5 |


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