Monday, 26 September 2011

Mogwai - Earth Division EP - Review

Mogwai's new four track EP follows this year's terrific album 'Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will', which saw the band's sound shifting to more diverse and at times more subtle places. The four new tracks here are characterised by their heavy use of classical instrumentation, and represent perhaps the softest side of Mogwai we've seen yet. Much of 'Earth Division' sounds like a soundtrack for a very bleak movie. Opener 'Get To France' is a gloomy piano led number which is topped off by its wonderfully melancholic strings, while 'Hound Of Winter' is a sad acoustic number with cold broken vocals.

'Drunk And Crazy' is a different beast altogether, producing a spiralling chaos where a blizzard of guitar effects meets static white noise, before the strings creep in to change the musical weather of the song. The EP reaches its climax with 'Does It Always Happen Like This', built around a desolate guitar line which repeats around the string arrangement and slowly grows into a thing of wonder that makes for a nice ending. Fans of the extremely loud qualities Mogwai have produced before will perhaps find less favour with these four short classically-arranged tracks, but taking into account that this is a band always looking for new ways to do things, this EP is a natural and successful musical experiment. 8/10

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