Record review: Mogwai – Rave Tapes [Rock Action]

artworks-000061261540-lynje5-t500x500In the dark and obscure corner of the post rock lays Mogwai.

Unpredictable and relentless, over the past nineteen years, the band keeps thriving through their musicality and love for their darkness-fuelled-guitar-driven sound.

Their eighth LP, Rave Tapes, is an entity that focuses on provoking one’s thoughts and emotions, sometimes even making a simple track taste bitter and melancholic (‘Hexon Bogon’) or simply manufacturing terror with a loud and asphyxiating sound (‘Remurdered’; ‘Deesh’).

Mogwai has mastered the atmospheric lyricless language of music, using instruments as a new method of communication, tearing down the barriers of language to be understood for what they are, a majestic and transcendental part of the post rock history.

After scoring the existential French zombie-flick Les Revenants and the documentary focused on Zidane, the band does what it does best; it keeps on exploring musical galaxies from beyond our reach.

Beauty is sporadically sprayed with little touches all over this album, like a painter detailing a fine piece of art.

For instance the lingering bass and drum action in ‘Hear From You Last Night’ is haunting, tantalizing, reaching anyone’s core with no words needed.

‘Blues Hour’ is the most emotional tracks of the album; the echo of ‘Tautou’ by Brand New is parading around this tormenting and powerful piece of music.

At some times very intimate, thanks to the vocals almost turned into a humming sound, the band unleashes their explosiveness, shifting the song into a magnificent anthem that submerges everything on its path.

Rave Tapes is not a perfect album, for instance the intricate narrator’s reflection about Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ and its satanic implications over ‘Repelish’ is presumptuous, while the track is insidious, lingering and would have been genius-like if the lyrics would have never existed.

After such a long run in the industry, Mogwai never seems to disappoint their audience even if their sound is metamorphosing into something more electronic (‘The Lord Is Out Of Control’), they never seem to lose this grasp over their own wordless musical propaganda.

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Words: Jeremy Veyret

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