Rave Tapes

Album review: Mogwai – ‘Rave Tapes’

Mogwai – Rave Tapes

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Buy: Rave Tapes

Scottish post-rock veterans Mogwai return with their eighth studio album Rave Tapes, which continues the exploration of melodic grooves which began with their 2011 album Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will.

Back in the day Mogwai were known and appreciated primarily for the ‘quiet-to-loud’ dynamic of their post-rock soundscapes. Now that they’re all comfortably into middle-age, though, their music has begun to soften somewhat and focus more on the melodic and ambient rather than the epic and abrasive. This really started with Hardcore… and continued into their celebrated score for French TV series Les Revenants.

Like all Mogwai albums though, Rave Tapes resists any attempts at labelling or lazy comparison – it’s too complex and richly textured to simply be lumped together with their past output.

Album opener ‘Heard About You Last Night’ eases you in with its gentle, lilting melody before ‘Simon Ferocious’ brings the album to life. Lead single ‘Remurdered’ is a dark and brooding beast that ebbs and flows nicely before ‘Hexon Bogon’ throws a huge emotional punch – which is matched later on by the powerful ‘No Medicine For Regret’.

Typically for a Mogwai album, the spoken word isn’t much of a feature. On Rave Tapes the limited vocals include a weird critique of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ on ‘Repelish’, and some heavily distorted singing on the impressive closing track ‘The Lord Is Out Of Control’. It’s never missed though, as all of the different moving parts of each track assume the role of the ‘vocal-line’ at various intervals – resulting in a rich and textured album that stands up as one of Mogwai’s most consistent and engaging.
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Buy: Rave Tapes

Post Author: Luke Glassford

Post written by Luke Glassford - founder, editor, writer and everything else at All-Noise.