They released 'Rave Tapes' earlier this year, but post-rock heroes Mogwai don't really know the meaning of slowing down -- they're always gearing up to explode. 'Music Industry 3 Fitness Industry 1' is a new EP with a grab bag of tricks, offering up new, unreleased tunes as well as remixes from their most recent, electronically driven venture. Nils Frahm takes on "The Lord Is Out Of Control", which is sure to be an interesting crossroads meeting.
CD £12.49 ROCKACT89CD
CD EP on Rock Action inc. Pye Corner Audio, Blanck Mass and Nils Frahm remixes.
Vinyl 12" £9.99 ROCKACT89
12" EP on Rock Action inc. Pye Corner Audio, Blanck Mass and Nils Frahm remixes.
“Teenage Exorcists” is the least Mogwai the band known as Mogwai have ever been. It’s a very real mystery, and hearing it, you feel like you’ve been transported to a not-so-parallel universe where post-rock screams with the energy of an early U2 album and gets played on Radio 1. Mogwai have hinted at that kind of callous, brutal pop music before, but only when it’s confined to the limits of their experiments: 2011’s “White Noise” hinted at a band kicking and screaming, trying to jump out from their skin and offer us something fast and irresistible. This is the real thing: clamouring guitars that are cut through with a clear-cut vocal melody and anthemic guitars that recall -- fuck it, I’ll go there -- early Embrace records. Mogwai won’t like me saying that -- Blur are shite, after all -- but they’re gonna have to deal.
The rest of ‘Music Industry 3 Fitness Industry 1’ is a less shocking affair, collecting together two songs that supplement ‘Rave Tapes’ nicely and three heady, diverse remixes that only surprise because of the distance they breach between rework and source material. “History Day” feels like a conventional Mogwai song (read: opaque guitar riffs) filtered through the lens of their newer trappings -- it takes a gooey beat and builds around synth-work that recalls the lesser known post-rock subverters Lights Out Asia. “HMP Shaun William Rider”, meanwhile, filters the sound of ‘Rave Tapes’ around a subtle but cheekily groovy bassline that firmly places the song’s anxiety in the ground. Actually, it kind of reminds me of Keane circa ‘Under The Iron Sea’ -- am I imagining this shit in order to piss off Mogwai, or is it real? Either way.
The remixes that come later would do better without the original material Mogwai have sourced for ‘Music Industry’, considering they flick a switch in this record’s tone three times over: Blank Mass’ rework, “Re-Remurdered”, sounds like some Prodigy-level EDM nonsense, and two songs later the beacon is passed to neo-classical mastermind Nils Frahm, who steadies the piano thrumming of “The Lord Is Out Of Control” and takes it to deeper, gloomier depths, eventually exploding it like a firework, because there’s nothing left to do. That these two remixes exist on the same EP is ridiculous, and also proof of Mogwai’s wonderful, loveable arrogance, which has kept them relevant to current day.
Overall, though, it’s “Teenage Exorcists” that’s worth our time: it might be the most uncharacteristic thing I’ve heard from this band, but in a year in which ‘Come On Die Young’ -- their slowest, drabbest work -- has been re-released, it’s proof of a diverse, intuitive band who are always changing, but never losing.
5/10 SAMMY 4th January 2015
Look I love Mogwai as much as the next man. Things like 'Come on Die Young' 'Happy Songs..' and 'Hawk is Howling' are among my favourite records ever and I think that there is merit in pretty much everything they've released. Even my daughters middle name is Mogwai! But this is all just a bit ... pointless. The opener 'Teenage Exorcist' is possibly one of the worst Mogwai tracks ever sounding like Interpol post 2003, and the only remix worth investigation is the Blanck Mass take on 'Re-murdered' which despite being a pounding, bass-heavy noise-death-mess, only really made mewant to return to Fuck Buttons 2009 'Tarot Sport' again, rather than put this record back on.
I thought that, whilst not their 'best' LP, 'Rave Tapes' from earlier in the year was a good offering but I feel a bit duped by this one. If there are other Mogwai records you've yet to get I would recommend them first.
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