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Mogwai: Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

A perfect sound forever.

A Mogwai album is a pale thing compared to seeing them live. Still, every Mogwai album is brilliant and fantastic in its own way.

We could talk a lot of twaddle about their spatial dynamics and the aesthetics of tension/release that neither you nor I quite understand. But why bother? Mogwai have a sound as perfect as The Ramones, or Stock, Aitken & Waterman, or Neu!

It’s a sound that’s both simple and insanely complicated to create. You hear lots of post rock instrumental bands these days, trying to do the same thing with minor variations. Only Mogwai get it right, though. Insofar as it matters, the music here is less abrasive than on previous album The Hawk Is Howling – more melodic.

It isn’t like any of their previous six studio albums and numerous EPs. But it’s not unlike them, either. In a life or death decision, you’d choose this over the rest for the motorik perfection of Mexican Grand Prix or the heartbreaking crystaline Death Rays or the vocoder punk of George Square Thatcher Death Party.

Like any other Mogwai record, though, it could be the perfect soundtrack to the film that is your life.

Allan McLachlan spent the late 70s studying politics at Strathclyde University and cut his teeth as a journalist in the west of Scotland on arts and culture magazines. He moved to London in the late 80s and started his life-long love affair with the metropolitan district as Music Editor on City Limits magazine. Following a brief period as News Editor on Sounds, he went freelance and then scored the high-profile gig of News Editor at NME. Quickly making his mark, he adopted the nom de plume Tommy Udo. He moved onto the NME's website, then Xfm online before his eventual longer-term tenure on Metal Hammer and associated magazines. He wrote biographies of Nine Inch Nails and Charles Manson. A devotee of Asian cinema, Tommy was an expert on 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano and co-wrote an English language biography on the Japanese actor and director. He died in 2019.