Hip-D Top 20 of 2006 » #7 » Mogwai - "Mr. Beast"
Mogwai have been undergoing something of a creative resurgence in recent years after several disappointing follow-ups to that post-rock touchstone of their own creation, Young Team. But while it may have been something of an albatross around their necks initially, several devastating EPs, one of the top albums of 2004 (Happy Music For Happy People) and a mind-blowing collection of live Peel sessions issued last year, have since proved that Mogwai have much more to offer than a cracking debut. Mr Beast, this year’s release, continued that heartening trend, if in a noticeably subtler manner.
Not that you'd know from listening to "Glasgow Mega Snake," as it crushes the listener beneath heavy coils before finally polishing them off with terrifying bursts of power from its reptilian muscle; it was the musical equivalent of a life or death struggle with a boa constrictor. And "We're No Here," as well as showcasing the best of Scottish grammar, was genuinely apocalyptic, a portent of the final five minutes of sound on Earth as fire and feedback rains from the sky.
But while these typically Mogwai-esque noise bombs book ended the album, most of the content was far less cochlea threatening. "Travel is Dangerous" owed more than a little to the distinctly not scary (and criminally underrated) Zephyrs, albeit a Zephyrs "volume-ated." "Team Handed" sounded like easy listening for people with nicotine stained artex ceilings, burn holes in the carpet and several serious assaults on their record -- essentially chill out music for exhausted Begbies. "I Chose Horses" was a gentle thank you to the Japanese post-rock contingent they have most influenced, and "Acid Food" actually sounded, well, nice.
For Mr Beast, Mogwai have taken their quiet/loud template and halved it down the middle for intelligent effect.
-- Darrin Frew
Darrin Frew's Favorite Track: "We're No Here"
This album appeared on the following staffers's lists:
- stacey (#2)
- jasmine (#5)
- Darrin Frew (#12)