Come on Die Young
By now, it’s likely that you’ve heard a lot about this album (partly due to the tardiness of this review). You’ve likely heard how Mogwai have “gone soft” and have abandoned their earlier walls of sound. Well, people who say are full of shite, like Blur. Come On Die Young is a wonderful record because Mogwai show that they are capable songwriters as well as purveyors of thick noisy drone.
Iggy Pop starts the album out with a long monologue on punk rock, appropriately titled “Punk Rock.” “Cody” follows. This is probably my favorite song on the album, because it is so pretty. That may not be a word you may associate with the band, but “Cody” shows that the monster does have a soft underbelly. “Cody” has a slight country feel to it, that aching twang that comes from a long night in jail. The next two songs are the weakest on the album, they both meander pointlessly over the play by play of a football game — American, not the rest of world’s. “Kappa” is stronger, building and building, but never releasing in the flurry of noise that they are renown for.
“Waltz for Aidan” carries on the theme of slow moving, slightly blurry songs, as does “May Nothing but Happiness Come to Your Door”, which takes on a more assertive tone than it’s precedent. The last four songs are the ones that will redeem the album for the old fans. Slow, slow, loud, LOUD. “Chocky” has a piano line that floats above the stewing drone for a while, before being tossed in favor of the cathartic noise. “Ex-Cowboy”, “Christmas Steps” and “Punk Rock/Puff Daddy/Antichrist” all follow suit.
Mogwai are to be getting big. While they are not the next Slint, Mogwai seem to be inebriating the indie rock hype machine. What separates the indie rock hype machine from other hype machines is that it tends to pick up on artists who are genuinely good. As is this record.
Matador Records, 625 Broadway, Twelfth Floor, New York, NY 10012-2319; http://www.matador.recs.com