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Wednesday, March 31, 1999

Melaudiophiles

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 1999 at 12:00 AM

After months of recording in the wilderness of upstate New York with Dave Fridmann, producer of Mercury Rev’s recent iconoclastic album, Deserter’s Songs, Glasgow’s indie-acclaimed Mogwai cements its reputation for creating uniquely beautiful contemporary guitar music with Come On Die Young, the follow-up to its 1997 debut Mogwai Young Team. If you can recall the heady, loveless days of My Bloody Valentine when it felt like your New Wave-tainted ears were being assaulted by an uncharted sonic maelstrom, you might just appreciate Mogwai’s primarily instrumental, restrained yet free-flowing, achingly beautiful guitar atmospheres.

Too often, critics wax lyrical about the latest darlings of their own indie music press. That’s certainly been the case with all Mogwai efforts these last three years. Come On Die Young will prove to be no different – but rightly so. Rarely does music reach deep inside you, reducing time and space to mere insignificance. Subtle and intriguing, hypnotically repeating, these songs woo you into a trancelike state of active listening. Less crisp than the fuzzy feedback of Flying Saucer Attack, more intricately woven than Tortoise’s dipping, looping interplay of guitar and keyboard, Mogwai wields harmonic-driven guitar, resonating, thick and brooding keyboards and searing, metallic vortices of noise that inevitably wash away to reveal frail hints of melody.

Compelling in its volatile creativity and intricate production, each song on Come On Die Young further leads listeners away from the traditional genre-specific way of thinking into an alluringly alive and audibly expressive world: May nothing but Mogwai caress your ears for the next year.

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