sun 18/03/2018

CD: Mogwai – A Wrenched Virile Lore | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Mogwai – A Wrenched Virile Lore

CD: Mogwai – A Wrenched Virile Lore

Post-rock experimental fiends do it in the remix

A few gremlins in the works for these inventive veterans

The remix album is an ungainly beast. The worst feel like a sign of creative bankruptcy while even the best feel like a shameless cash-in on a successful project. Hopelessly devoted fans might still call it a win-win situation, but to outside ears it doesn't matter how hot the hotshot producers are, the lingering echo of a remix album is often the sound of a product being milked dry.

And so to Mogwai's A Wrenched Virile Lore, which takes it cue from 2011’s Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will (the title is almost an anagram, a remix, of the earlier title). The genre-trouncing Glaswegians have come a long way since their messy turn-that-flipping-racket-down origins and here their remaining rough edges are frequently smoothed over with, pun intended, mixed results. The most instantly accessible moments have an electronic tinge, with "White Noise" produced by Cylob and "Letters to the Metro" (synth twosome Zombi did the honours) strongly evoking the funky futurism of Kraftwerk.

But with the ten mostly instrumental tracks boasting different production credits (including ex-Napalm Death's Justin K Broadrick who lends a pneumatic bpm sucker punch to "George Square Thatcher Death Party") the album ultimately lacks a cohesive overall style. This all-hands-on-the-mixing-desk approach delivers some nice surprises – "Mexican Grand Prix", reworked by fellow Scot RM Hubbert could almost be a lost Leonard Cohen masterpiece with its strummed guitar and whispered vocals – but also some nasty ones, such as the weird Europudding of "How to Be a Werewolf" (Xander Harris). Ultimately this is an album for completists. Anyone new to Mogwai would do better to return to originals, catch them live where they can be intensely beautiful as well as bloody noisy, or wait for the next new album.

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Watch the video for "Friend of the Night"

This all-hands-on-the-mixing desk approach delivers nice surprises but also nasty ones


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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