Imagine you are standing on a cliff, waves crashing endlessly below you as the oppressive gray sky bears down and rain soaks you to the bone. This is generally what it is like to listen to Mogwai. This is generally not the case on their latest record, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. Make no mistake – Mogwai is still the same Glaswegian band we know and love, but this time around there’s a hint of sunlight behind the clouds.
Several songs on HWNDBYW call to mind other artists, but only in serving to highlight how Mogwai has influenced their sound as opposed to the other way around. Minus the Bear has “San Pedro” and M83 has “Death Rays”, one of the album’s better tracks. Also of note is “Rano Pano” – the ultra-crunchy guitar and repeated ascending melody are well-fit to score Donnie Darko should an alternate music cut ever be needed.
Expansive, ambient, and strong, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. augments the typical rock-instrument roll call with strings, organ, piano, and electronic pops and clicks to build itself above the breakers.