Release Date: Sep 1, 2017
Record label: Temporary Residence
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Album number nine from Mogwai finds the band heading into their future without guitarist John Cummings. As if to offset the loss of one of their founders, they’ve bought Dave Fridmann back into the fold – the producer of Mogwai classics CODY and Rock Action. The result of these changes is subtle, so subtle in fact that opening gambit Coolverine sounds as if it is simply following on directly from where the band’s soundtrack for Atomic left off. The devil is in the detail, and Every Country’s Sun slowly reveals itself to be perhaps the most expansive Mogwai has sounded in some time.
Even by way of this first live airing, the album – Mogwai’s ninth studio effort and their first since 2014's well-received Rave Tapes – instantly felt like a quintessential, well-crafted return, every bit as vital and masterfully mottled as their most triumphant, generation-bridging output to date. In this instance, the “return” to form didn’t concern quality (true facts: they have never released a poor album) but rather the band’s quite literal, tried-and-tested method as a unit operating beyond a brief. Having spent the last couple of years focusing on soundtrack work, Every Country’s Sun is a statement concocted amidst (and, as guitarist Stuart Braithwaite has recently said, against) the strange, turbulent and somewhat unknowable times in which we live.
Sometimes it’s easier to track a band’s development when they have songs, and lyrics, and vocalists, and all that sort of thing. With Mogwai, who generally let the instruments do the talking, it’s a little different. On_Every Country’s Sun_ there is, admittedly, the excellent Party In The Dark, with its echoes of New Order, and David Holmes’s I Heard Wonders, but lyrics like ‘Hungry for another peace of mind, silent and impatient without time’ are opacity city. What can be discerned is that Every Country’s Sun fits neatly into the pattern of 21st-century Mogwai releases, with the charge of Come On Die Young and Young Team channelled into a quieter but still often relentless mood.
For over 20 years, Mogwai have been as reliable and dependable an act one could hope for. There aren't many bands out there who have managed to remain so remarkably consistent over such a long time, but Mogwai are one of those. It helps that the Glasgow art-rock band have a pretty familiar sound to stick to, only making small, incremental changes from album-to-album, but either way, they are clearly not sick of their sound nor are their fairly loyal fans.
Few bands make great music in their third decade together, but Mogwai continues the particularly strong form they’ve been in since 2013’s Les Revenants on their ninth studio album, Every Country’s Sun. It’s built, as ever, on the Scots’ familiar instrumental tropes. Sometimes the album is pensive or disturbing. Elsewhere, it’s hymnal and graceful (Coolverine), or brutal (1,000 Foot Face).
TWENTY YEARS ON FROM THEIR DEBUT, post-rock cornerstone Mogwai Young Team, this Lanarkshire-hatched massive have lately sculpted a tasty sideline as film soundtrackers extraordinaire. Since scoring 2006.
Much has happened in Mogwai's self made sphere since their last proper studio album, the sub rosa assault Rave Tapes, three years ago. Guitarist John Cummings bid farewell in 2015 and the four remaining dark knights of Scotland have turned their music to cause of late, having composed scores for conscience leveling documentaries Atomic and Before the Flood. And still, with winds of change sweeping across their moors, much of what they have planted in massive scale for over two decades has remained and is just as immovable on their ninth studio album, Every Country's Sun.
Mogwai have turned into a real band. Sure, they were always a band, but on their ninth album they’ve shed something, and now glide gracefully along. It feels the four-piece have evolved into something truly intuitive, coming across like a slow moving ocean liner – albeit one punctured with pulsating LEDs and torn all down one side by a great slab of the heaviest metal. It might be as a result of the incessant touring and festival slots around last album, Rave Tapes, but the “new” (ish) Mogwai sound is one of smoother transitions from the loud bits to the quieter.
Over the last decade-plus, Mogwai’s album-length scores and soundtracks have threatened to overshadow their official studio releases. The former—particularly Mogwai’s haunting contributions to both the BBC documentary “Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise” and the spooky French television drama “Les Revenants”—have managed to distill the Scottish band’s brute sonic force with surprising subtlety and grace. Increasingly, writing music as part of a collaborative project seems to suit these guys: Freed from the pressure to make big stand-alone album statements, Mogwai are able to relax and let over 20 years of post-rocking naturally guide their hand in the studio..
Mogwai are the Mark Kozelek of post-rock. Both started their careers making albums that wrapped the listener in a blanket of beautiful gloom, but have branched off into different, and (at times) much more playful directions in their later career. They.
Mogwai have never been ones to abide by expectation. Their synth-drenched sound and soaring set-ups make for an unusual combination, one that delivers alluring, if occasionally elusive, melodies and rich atmospheric textures. It’s psych rendered in an unusually accessible and articulate way.
Few modern post-rock acts are as popular and longstanding as Scottish quartet Mogwai. Titled after the adorable yet problematic species at the forefront of the Gremlins movies (as well as the Cantonese word for .
For their latest, Mogwai have crafted a scenic, filmic album, but theirs is frequently a similar scene. The glistening lakes bouncing with the light of a new sun rising across an alien world. Many tracks of beautiful dawns, but seemingly none of the moon falling from the sky of Mogwai’s past, few raging forest fires, a single intense tsunami. Serene isn’t necessarily a word you would associate with this group of Scottish post-rock legends, but serene it is, mostly.
S ome albums need a centrepiece, a standout track that encourages repeated listening and contextualises the surrounding songs. Don.
Confined spaces and sonic onslaughts make for compelling bedfellows. This writer’s favourite Mogwai memory is the maniacal look of glee on Stuart Braithwaite’s face when the band simultaneously stomped on the booster pedals during ‘We’re No Here’, one night at the ICA in 2006. It would only be a slight exaggeration to say the wall of sound that hit the audience at high velocity knocked bodies into the bar next door.
Scottish post-rockers Mogwai are a band that only be described as an experience. Their artform transcends the typical instrumentalists out there and it's mostly due to how much inspiration, emotion and dreams they pack into songs that while lacking vocals, have so much energy embedded. After they scored Atomic last year, I dove back into their discography and to be honest, it felt wrong being away from it for so long.
At this year’s Primavera Sound, Scottish post-rock pioneers Mogwai took the bold move to preview their then recently announced album ‘Every Country’s Sun’ in full during a secret set at the Barcelona based festival. Seemingly garnering a positive reaction by those in attendance (we all know it isn’t the easiest digesting new material live before the studio release), Mogwai appeared to be in good shape after the departure of long time member John Cummings in 2015. Now three months later and the studio release at our fingertips, is ‘Every Country’s Sun’ Mogwai’s next masterpiece or was their surprise show just a red herring? Beginning with the collected ‘Coolverine’, a track that builds and builds into a stratospheric accumulation of sci-fi synths and impeccable execution, it’s immediately apparent that Mogwai have masterminded something special with ‘Every Country’s Sun’.