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coverpic flag Scotland - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 30 - 03/31/99

Mogwai
Come On Die Young
Chemikal Underground (UK) / Matador (US)

Finally, the big cheeses, the one you've all been waiting for - Luke Sutherland's old sparring partners (and he appears on this album, though the spoken word collaboration seems to be either on hold or a figment of someone's imagination) - anyway, Mogwai's Come On Die Young is upon us, meaning national celebrations, dancing in the streets of Lanarkshire, and the start of (another) Slint revival. It'll be quite fascinating to see how successful this will be, as it could be the most successful chart album from an 'experimental' band ever. Then again, perhaps the backlash is upon us as the Melody Maker has already given them their (first?) bad review. He should perhaps be warned of the band's possible reaction, as the title is taken from a 1960's slogan from Glasgow's notorious gang wars.

The album itself was originally slated to have less "quiet/LOUD/quiet/MY EARS ARE BLEEDING" song progressions, but this isn't strictly true - sure, there's less pure noise than the likes of Stereodee, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Progression is along the lines of the No Education EP - reviews have concentrated on the Iggy Pop sample that starts the album, where he talks about 'Punk Rock', and doubtless any radio airplay will feature on the 'title' track CODY, which is the most listener-friendly song on the album - in fact, it's the only 'song' on the album, Stuart's vocals, slightly hesitant, fit in pretty well with the atmosphere the song generates. Apart from re-recorded versions of Xmas Steps and the all-squeaky-clean Helps Both Ways, there is righteous noise on Year 2000 Non-Compliant Cardia (a reference to the drummer's pacemaker - no, not a click-track, but an actual pacemaker which may have to be removed due to the Y2K bug!). And we get, well, what we expect from Mogwai on' Ex-Cowboy and Chocky i.e. quiet bits and LOUD bits in earnest and swift succession. It's a testament to them that they can still scare the pants off the listener with a quick blast of noise even though any experienced Mogwai fan is on the edge of their seat waiting for the next sonic assault.

The album closes with Punk Rock / Puff Daddy / ANTICHRIST, which should get a fresh set of lawyers onto them, if this album emerges from the underground and into the mainstream, where the legal profession and purveyors of rap-lite roam. Still, my money's on the wee lads from the Young Team.

Copyright © 1999 Stuart McHugh e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Mogwai articles/reviews: 4 Satin EP, Mogwai Young Team, Mr. Beast, Mr. Beast, New Paths To Helicon, No Education=No Future (Fuck The Curfew) EP, Rave Tapes, Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait (Original Soundtrack).

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