Originality77
Lyrical Content75
Longevity80
Overall Impact78
Reader Rating0 Votes0
78
A beautifully complex and richly rewarding achievement that is, much like the titular star, a slow-burner

Every reviewer, and anyone with any sense, knows how important first impressions are. They may disarm and seduce one into a disguised shallowness or repel the audience from discovering a gratifying and carefully measured profundity lying far deeper than at first expected.

Mogwai’s 2017 album Every Country’s Sun is the post-rock outfit’s ninth LP, the first without long-time guitarist John Cummings, and after finally hearing it for the first time one would be forgiven for thinking how little has changed since the band’s inception twenty-two years ago. The kaleidoscopic twisting of light and dark guitar riffs layered expertly over one another are ever-present and Martin Bulloch’s furious percussion continues to punctuate the driving bass-lines of Dominic Aitchison during the familiar sonic crescendos of Mogwai’s most popular and brilliant work. Add to this a helping of gentle synth electronica, which has cropped up among the band’s previous albums and achieved its clearest expression on 2014’s Rave Tapes, as well as sparse vocals and you have a veritable yet rather commonplace addition to Mogwai’s catalogue. An addition to be consumed quickly and easily in order to avail your friends of their concern when they inquire if you have listened to “those Glaswegians’ new one?”.

Such an impression may have left its imprint on the mind of the listener after an initial play-through, possibly mixed with a feeling of disappointment at the outcome. Yet it is to Every Country’s Sun’s credit that after a prolonged and considered engagement with it an appreciation for the album’s astute novelty soon emerges and the sum of all parts begin to take shape. It is difficult to pick out highlights from an album which feels as though it has been intricately designed to provide a variegated soundscape upon every re-listen but high points include the melancholic Coolverine, one of the album’s singles, which builds to a rapturous climax through laconic synth and guitar patterns making it an album opener par excellence. Party in the Dark is a wonderfully catchy track with an indie pop sensibility whose downplayed vocals and introspective lyrics fit perfectly around the self-assured distortion reminiscent of Teenage Exorcists from the band’s Rave Tapes sessions EP Music Industry 3. Fitness Industry 1. The song Aka 47, which wouldn’t sound out of place on the Blade Runner soundtrack, acts as a signpost for the album’s shift in mood as the punchy and confident openers morph into slower, more subtle and reflective pieces. These are followed by explosive fits of melodic catharsis before the album fades into tranquil repose via the title track.

Those who hear in Every Country’s Sun a hint of artistic conservatism or dismiss it as an example of the ‘same old Mogwai’ must tear off the shackles of first impressions and submerge themselves in what is the band’s finest release in half a decade. A beautifully complex and richly rewarding achievement that is, much like the titular star, a slow-burner.

‘Every Country’s Sun’ is out now. The full track-listing is as follows…

01 Coolverine
02 Party In The Dark
03 Brain Sweeties
04 Crossing The Road Material
05 aka 47
06 20 Size
07 1000 Foot Face
08 Don’t Believe The Fife
09 Battered At The Scramble
10 Old Poisons
11 Every Country’s Sun

You can see Mogwai at one of the following venues…

10th Oct – Oslo, NO @ Rockefeller Music Hall
11th Oct – Stockholm, SE @ Nobelberget
12th Oct – Malmo, SE @ KB
13th Oct – Copenhagen, DK @ Vega
14th Oct – Berlin, DE @ Columbiahalle
16th Oct – Hamburg, DE @ Docks
17th Oct – Köln, DE @ E-Werk
18th Oct – Lille, FR @ Aeronef
20th Oct – Brussels, BE @ AB
22nd Oct – Utrecht, NL@ Tivoli Vredenburg Ronda
23rd Oct – Paris, FR @ Grand Rex
25th Oct – Madrid, ES @ Riviera
26th Oct – Reithalle, CH @ Kaserne Basel
27th Oct – Milan, IT @ Fabrique
28th Oct – Rome, IT @ Atlantico
29th Oct – Bologna, IT @ Estragon
31st Oct – Prague, CZ @ Roxy
1st Nov – Vienna, AT @ Arena
2nd Nov – Leipzig, DE @ Täubchenthal,
3rd Nov – Munich, DE @ Backstage
20th Nov – San Diego, CA @ Observatory N. Park
21st Nov – Los Angeles, CA @ Belasco Theater
22nd Nov – San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
23rd Nov – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
24th Nov – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
25th Nov – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
28th Nov – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
30th Nov – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
1st Dec – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
2nd Dec – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
3rd Dec – Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
5th Dec – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
6th Dec – Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
7th Dec – Boston, MA @ Royale Nightclub
8th Dec – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
9th Dec – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
10th Dec – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
15th Dec – London, UK @ O2 Brixton Academy
16th Dec – Glasgow, UK @ The SSE Hydro

www.gigsoupmusic.com

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