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Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will Album Cover

Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

Reviewed by
9.3
Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
Record Label: Sub Pop Records
Release Date: February 15, 2011
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Some music isn't just listened to; it's appreciated. It's like, you don't look at art, do you? No, you stand around and you appreciate the art. You stare at it and you think about what it means and what the artist was trying to convey. A lot of instrumental music is like that, where people might sit back and just stare off into the distance, appreciating what they are hearing.

But in the case of Mogwai's latest phenomenal full-length, the awesomely titled Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, the music needs to be listened to, not just appreciated. Mostly instrumental, the album only has a few instances where vocals are used but doesn't suffer emotionally because of it.

Mogwai creates an almost visual musical landscape in every song on Hardcore Will Never Die, with so much precision and inflection in the delivery of each instrument that you can see the music unfolding before you. It's sort of like a movie that you know the story to but you've never seen before; you know more or less what to expect but it's still entertaining to behold.

Unlike most bands that go the instrumental route, Mogwai isn't too grand about its seventh studio full-length. While the album does round off at a nice and even 53 minutes over the course of 10 tracks, none of the songs feel like they are forced at all.

Take the exotic-sounding opener, "White Noise." The song is an almost constant build up, growing in intensity and never faltering. It ends at the five-minute mark but the listener feels as though no time has been spent. The following track, "Mexican Grand Prix," features one of the few usages of vocals on Hardcore Will Never Die, used more as an additional instrument than anything else. I don't have any clue what the lyrics are in this song, nor do I care, because it just sounds phenomenal when paired with the accompanying instrumentation.

One thing that makes Mogwai stand out from the instrumental pack is the fact that the band is focused on keeping a driving edge to its music. Too many of these sort of bands will take their figurative foot off of the accelerator, slowing things down to an almost unentertaining degree. On the other hand, Mogwai reminds me of a more rock-driven Explosions In The Sky, or perhaps of a vocal-less Sigur Ros on this record.

The band has been playing this sort of music for quite a while now, as Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will is the group's seventh LP since 1995. Coupled with seven EP releases and a live album, Mogwai has had an impressively long career playing instrumental rock. And never in its career has this band been more accessible than it is now, with only three songs breaking the six minute mark.

The guitar-centric "San Pedro," for example, has a lot of the characteristics of a typical Mogwai song. With a distorted guitar leading the way for crashing cymbals and thumping bass, this band makes art-rock accessible by not seeming too ethereal or ambience-oriented. And at only three-and-a-half minutes, you could play it at any time and in any setting without it seeming out of place or boring at all.

When songs do break the six-minute threshold, like "How to Be A Werewolf" or album closer "You're Lionel Richie," listeners will be too lost in the beauty of Mogwai's music to even care. During the slow and steady build-up of the former, listeners are eager to hear what the band does next, akin to anxiously turning to the next page in a gripping novel. When Mogwai goes from that quiet to really quiet to really, really quiet sound, then explodes into that really, really, really loud sound, it makes the entire build-up worth it and makes it feel natural.

Andy Hull indirectly taught me a while ago to save the word "beautiful" for a girl that I, you know, actually like. In "I Can Feel Your Pain," Hull whispers, "I ran on to something new / That I swore was everything but beautiful / I only say that word for you." Since then, I've regarded the term "beautiful" as a compliment I'll only pay to the prettiest girls at the ball, and in all honesty I've only used that word to describe a girl once since like maybe sophomore year of high school, and she wasn't even any of the girls that I dated or anything.

Now, I'm not ready to commit to anything long-term just yet, but Hardcore Will Never Die, But
You Will is just begging for me to call it beautiful. Since music is relatively inanimate, I've thrown around that term before while describing an album or two, so I don't have any problem using it here.

Mogwai writes, yes, beautiful music without it being too artsy-fartsy or over your head. Hardcore Will Never Die has a good amount of brawn to it but ultimately falls into the category of breathtaking music that isn't made too often. While this album won't end up at the top of any end of the year lists (including mine, based on my 2010 one), there probably won't be many records made in 2011 that can top this one on the scale of musicianship.

Recommended If You LikeI'm gonna stick with this: a more rock-driven Explosions In The Sky, or perhaps of a vocal-less Sigur Ros.
Follow Me On TwitterGo Jets!
Bare Essentials1. White Noise
2. Mexican Grand Prix
3. Rano Pano
4. Death Rays
5. San Pedro
6. Letters To The Metro
7. George Square Thatcher Death Party
8. How To Be A Werewolf
9. Too Raging To Cheers
10. You’re Lionel Richie
Run Time: 53 minutes
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars, no doubt.
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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 60
01:24 AM on 01/21/11
#2
cshadows2887
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Man, not ranking vocals and lyrics really fucks the percentage, huh?
01:43 AM on 01/21/11
#3
Sloth7
Kitton Mittons
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Very much looking forward to this. One of my favorite album titles in ages.
01:46 AM on 01/21/11
#4
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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Man, not ranking vocals and lyrics really fucks the percentage, huh?
Only on the reviews homepage. You'll see on this page, it's a 93 percent.
01:50 AM on 01/21/11
#5
CheckeredFloors
nah
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Only on the reviews homepage. You'll see on this page, it's a 93 percent.
I presume new AP will fix that. Unless the scoring system is going to be abolished as I've heard rumours of?
02:28 AM on 01/21/11
#6
trevorshmevor
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Honestly, I never got into this band and checked this record out on a whim about a week ago. It's undoubtedly the shit, and once I've listened to this too much I'm gonna backtrack into their older stuff. Unnecessary sidebar, I got laid to this record a couple nights ago and I'd recommend it almost as much as I would getting the record in general.
03:43 AM on 01/21/11
#7
mayday
houston, we have a problem.
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I wanna check this out. Love these guys.
03:46 AM on 01/21/11
#8
dogsizedbirdIII
ap.net legend est. 2008
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Best record I've heard so far this year. Mogwai never disappoint. One of my favorite live shows as well.
05:05 AM on 01/21/11
#9
Jasper112
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Best record I've heard so far this year. Mogwai never disappoint. One of my favorite live shows as well.
tsk tsk
05:11 AM on 01/21/11
Cody Nelson
Your mouth to God's south.
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Honestly, I never got into this band and checked this record out on a whim about a week ago. It's undoubtedly the shit, and once I've listened to this too much I'm gonna backtrack into their older stuff. Unnecessary sidebar, I got laid to this record a couple nights ago and I'd recommend it almost as much as I would getting the record in general.

Lol wow.
06:06 AM on 01/21/11
xapplexpiex
&.&
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Looking forward to this. These guys can really play music.
06:36 AM on 01/21/11
IWasHerHorse
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I'm not really crazy about this release, I like it more than Hawk is Howling, and I've never not liked a Mogwai album. More than anything I'm excited to see them in April.
08:06 AM on 01/21/11
pennyflipnfe
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Though the vocals are sparse, they can still be ranked, no?
08:22 AM on 01/21/11
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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Though the vocals are sparse, they can still be ranked, no?
Not really. They are presented with a lot of sound effects and sound just like music, with basically indecipherable lyrics. And with a total of maybe 10 percent of the album being vocals, there isn't enough to judge off of.
08:26 AM on 01/21/11
cshadows2887
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Best record I've heard so far this year. Mogwai never disappoint. One of my favorite live shows as well.
Not saying Mogwai isn't great, but how many albums can you even have heard from this year? Haha.

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