Mogwai - As The Love Continues review




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Band: Mogwai
Album: As The Love Continues
Release date: February 2021


01. To The Bin My Friend, Tonight We Vacate Earth
02. Here We, Here We, Here We Go Forever
03. Dry Fantasy
04. Ritchie Sacramento
05. Drive The Nail
06. Fuck Off Money
07. Ceiling Granny
08. Midnight Flit
09. Pat Stains
10. Supposedly, We Were Nightmares
11. It's What I Want To Do, Mum


Out of all the elders of post-rock, Mogwai have been the most prolific. And in a discography that for the past 15 years has had more soundtracks than actual studio albums, it's hard to really wow anyone.

Being around since 1995, Mogwai caught the perfect moment by being part of the 2nd wave of post-rock, and being among the very few post-rock bands that really invented their own sound. Ten Rapids actually came out a few months earlier than both Von and F♯ A♯ ∞. Mogwai Young Team is an absolute monster of a record, and that distorted guitar in "Mogwai Fear Satan" might be one of the earliest bridges into post-metal territories. Since then, Mogwai has played around with its established sound, but never really had any radical changes. And its electronic and atmospheric leaning lent it a very sought after medium for soundtracks, hence the huge amounts of soundtrack albums. If Sigur Ros would be an indie coming-of-age story, Godspeed You! Black Emperor would be a dystopian experimental film, then Mogwai is the blockbuster.

My previous comparison might be a bit off-putting, since it might picture Mogwai as lesser. It's just that the emotional landscapes that Mogwai paint and the way that they've been painting them for the last 20 years lends them to be the most accessible of the big three, which is why they're so sought after. But then again, with such a prolific output and such an established sound, is it any surprise that As the Love Continues doesn't break any new ground? Even being a really big fan of Mogwai and of the sound that they spearheaded, I can't deny that it kinda blurs together. Could most of the songs on As The Love Continues be used as part of a soundtrack? Absolutely. What does that have to say about the depth of their emotional load? Not much. It's just Mogwai.

Probably the worst part of what I'm trying to get as is that you start seeing a pattern in the way that Mogwai writes songs. Play a cool melody, and then play it louder. Mogwai's songs aren't really short, but I wouldn't really call any song here "an epic", so having a lot of the album fall in line to that pattern, as great as each individual instance is, can wear out its welcome a bit too fast, especially in an hour-long album. But then again, it's Mogwai, and it's not that immediately noticeable. If that pattern is this pony's one trick, Mogwai have perfected it. With such a soundtrack-lending sound, is it any surprise that the music is atmospheric and emotional? Again?

Going into the specifics, I feel like the album's production is a bit too compressed. Dave Fridmann, who produced this remotely due to the pandemic, has worked before with Mogwai on Every Country's Sun and Rock Action, but I don't remember being as bothered by the production on those two. I do remember how much he botched the production of Baroness' Gold & Grey, so there's that. The opener, is probably the most evocative song on the record, followed up by the glitchiest track. "Ritchie Sacremento" is the only song with actual lyrics and singing, reminding me a lot of previous album's "Party In The Dark", so I can expect it would be the song I'll be returning to the most, "Ceiling Granny" and "Supposedly We Were Nightmares" have a bit of a Deftones/Smashing Pumpkins-ish shoegaze/alt vibe, "Mightnight Flit" has some great strings courtesy of Nine Inch Nails' Atticus Ross, and "Pat Stains" also has a guest spot from saxophonist Colin Stetson, but said contribution is far too buried in the mix to make the right impact.

As a whole, I'm torn between it being too much by the numbers and like a soundtrack album to nothing in particular, and it being Mogwai doing what only Mogwai can do this well. I'd love for Mogwai to challenge themselves a bit more, maybe commit to those shoegaze or electronic infusions more fully, or if they do stick to the formula, at least to work with another producer. But then again, if that's what they want to do, I'm not their mum.



 



Written on 25.02.2021 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 8   Visited by: 79 users
25.02.2021 - 20:05
musclassia

I'm not sure I'd ever listened to a whole Mogwai album before this one; I definitely liked it, but I think for a post-rock album in 2020 it's pretty forgettable. However, I'm approaching them only after having heard waves of bands directly inspired by them, so it's perhaps not the most representative view I could have of Mogwai
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25.02.2021 - 20:11
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by musclassia on 25.02.2021 at 20:05

I'm not sure I'd ever listened to a whole Mogwai album before this one; I definitely liked it, but I think for a post-rock album in 2020 it's pretty forgettable. However, I'm approaching them only after having heard waves of bands directly inspired by them, so it's perhaps not the most representative view I could have of Mogwai

I still don't think there's any band out there that sounds like them, just ones that attempt to do so. I think it's above average even by the "years and years of similar post-rock" metric. I'd say you should definitely listen to Mogwai Young Team just for how important of an album it was for post-rock.
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Serenity is no longer wishing you had a different past.

2021 goodies
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25.02.2021 - 20:11
Karlabos
Meat and Potatos
What? Mogwai in MS?
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Rose is red, violet is blue. Flag is win, Baba is you.
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25.02.2021 - 20:30
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Karlabos on 25.02.2021 at 20:11

What? Mogwai in MS?

They've been here for a while.
----
Serenity is no longer wishing you had a different past.

2021 goodies
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25.02.2021 - 21:11
JoHn DoE

Is it out? Yay! looking forward to listening to it.
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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26.02.2021 - 15:05
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by Karlabos on 25.02.2021 at 20:11

What? Mogwai in MS?

I will re ask who are they, never have heard this band,
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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26.02.2021 - 15:31
Karlabos
Meat and Potatos
Written by Bad English on 26.02.2021 at 15:05

Written by Karlabos on 25.02.2021 at 20:11

What? Mogwai in MS?

I will re ask who are they, never have heard this band,

It's a pretty well known shoegaze/post rock band.
It's like seeing Nickelback on MS or something.
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Rose is red, violet is blue. Flag is win, Baba is you.
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26.02.2021 - 22:53
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
Written by Karlabos on 25.02.2021 at 20:11

What? Mogwai in MS?


I recall Mister Beast being heavily pimped here back in the day. Turned me on to them.
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get the fuck off my lawn.

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