Thursday, April 5, 2012

Album Review: Mogwai – Come On Die Young


Mogwai’s second album Come On Die Young came out in 1999, and it’s one of their mellowest of all, with very little guitar crunch.  It’s an intensely subtle listen, right from the foreboding opener Punk Rock: - featuring a sample of an Iggy Pop interview over some spooky music.  Much of the album is very tranquil and moody.  Cody features Stuart Braithwaite on weedy vocals, while many of the tracks sort of run into each other, the depressed-sounding Helps Both Ways has some very pleasant woodwind.
Waltz for Aidan (presumably Moffat) has a gorgeous melody, while May Nothing But Happiness Come Through Your Door patents slow and brooding in the instrumental, ‘post-rock’ sense.  After the brief keyboard piece Oh! How the Dogs Stack Up, things get a bit livelier with Ex-Cowboy.  The track starts off sounding like The Cure’s Disintegration on downers before swelling to noisier territory.  In fact, this track, the in turns pensive and noisy Chocky and Christmas Steps occupy almost half an hour of the album.  The latter track is a slightly different version to the one on the No Education = No Future EP, but it’s none the less thrilling for that with its massive noise pay-offs.
Final track, the brief Punk Rock/Puff Daddy/Antichrist is a slight anticlimax, with forlorn brass making it almost like an afterthought.  It’s an odd album really.  An album like this is not really about the individual songs, more about painting a mood and the mood here is grey and bleak.