Thursday, May 29, 2008

Albums You Should Own

Come On Die Young
Matador, 1999

Mogwai are a Scottish band who formed part of what is sometimes known as the “post-rock” and slow-core movements. To paraphrase/plagurize Wikipedia, post-rock is essentially non-rock music created with rock instruments, and slowcore is along the same lines. Think Slint, Sigur Ros, Tortoise, etc. Basically, they make long, slow, intricate instrumentals using bass, guitar, and drums. It’s influenced by shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine, and lots and lots of depressants.

Come On Die Young is actually mellower than Mogwai’s other stuff, which is kind of why I like it. I have to admit that the first few times I listened to it, I was really unimpressed. It sounds like three dudes got together, chased some vicodin down with some pot, and jammed. Only after repeated listens did I really get the subtle beauty of the album, and the intricate patterns and structures in the songs. My favorite track, “Cody,” is the only track with vocals, and it is stunning. My other favorite track is the ten-minute-long "XMas Steps," which slowly builds to this incredible crescendo.

It is the perfect sleepy late-night album: This is driving at 3:00 AM music, when the world is still and quiet and you’re not quiet sure that you aren’t the last person left on earth. It’s painfully beautiful, sad, and lonely, and you should probably own it.

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