Scotland - Full Moon 117 - 04/13/06
Nope, Mogwai didn't reach their peak in the 90s, though that is certainly the easiest way to dismiss this record. But this is no throwback. With that said, it is easy to tell that Mogwai did cut their teeth in the 90s. There are certainly aspects to this sound that will take you back 10 years, and that ends up being
a very good thing on Mr. Beast.
We even begin with an almost-typical 90s piano solo intro. The first big song is "Glasgow Mega-Snake", a huge 6/4 instrumental rock and roll song. The guitars sing of Sonic Youth and even Nirvana in embellishment, but in a new way. The song ends abruptly and moves to the toy-drum-machine backed "Acid Food". Steel guitar harmonizes the first appearance of beautiful voice in this slow-song. Then a surprise: vocoder. It's rarely found, but good use of vocoder can be the savior of a song. Why, Brian Knox use to use it to good effect all the time.
We move on to "Travel is Dangerous", a monumental song that makes me grateful that Mogwai didn't "stay in the 90s where they belong" as some assert. I wish I could think of something more to say about this tune, but I don't want to ruin anything. If you hear one song off this record, hear this one. Continuing down the path, we reach "Team Handed", which sports a very 06 sound.
Mogwai have a lot to say, and there is a very day-to-day, personal kind of sound about this record, if that makes any sense. It took me a couple of listens to really get into this but when it stuck, it really stuck. Mr. Beast is a great album.
Copyright © 2006 Mateo Orillas