Release Date: Mar 7, 2006
Record label: Matador / PIAS
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Possibly the most accessible yet sophisticated album Mogwai has released, Mr. Beast strips away most of the electronic embellishment of their recent work in favor of a back-to-basics sound that returns to and expands on the approach they pioneered on Young Team. Mr. Beast is also a surprisingly spontaneous-sounding album -- in the best possible sense, its freshness makes it feel like a recorded practice session and also helps give relatively delicate pieces like "Team Handed" the same amount of impact that heavy, searing tracks like the closer, "We're No Here," have.
Like anyone else whose ears left the 1990s, I was surprised to discover Mogwai chiselling away at the coalface in 2006. Running with Slint’s instrumental quiet-loud binary and reducing any of that group’s sensitivity to a cluster of theatrical rock gestures, Mogwai always sounded ball-less. They were/are also one of the groups most responsible for reducing post-rock’s deconstructive questing spirit to a mathematical equation that simplistically paralleled crushing volume with male pain.