Archive for the ‘Liars’ Tag

Album: Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will

Several acts can lay claim to a devoted cult following, with Mogwai it’s more like an army with separate factions. While it is almost universally accepted that the Glasgow outfit’s debut LP Young Team, released in 1997 is their best to date, subsequent releases have proved more than a bit divisive. Having stretched the boundaries of their post-rock sound over five other albums you got the feeling they were going to try something a little different this time round. While Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will takes the prize for best title so far, the album is the weakest to date.

Disappointingly it’s these ventures into pastures new that inspire the album’s downfall. Over the last 15 years Stuart Braithwaite and company have mastered both ends of the post-rock spectrum. From the haunting delicacy of tunes like Cody to the teeth-grinding roar of numbers such as Glasgow Mega Snake. Vitally however, every album had a clear direction, a coherence. HWNDBYW loses itself somewhere between the classic Mogwai sound and a fresh start. Guarding the two most experimental tracks “Mexican Grand Prix” and “George Square Thatcher Death Party” are tunes which would fit seamlessly into other Mogwai albums, the result however is an LP that lacks its own identity.

Effects-laden vocals and an electronic beat mark new territory in “Mexican Grand Prix”, falling somewhere in between Radiohead and Liars. The fancy new tricks will do little to engage new listeners or impress seasoned followers as the track lacks any edge or imagination. More frustratingly on “George Square Thatcher Death Party” the tiresome synth and irritating auto-tuned vocals interfere with a stomping guitar riff.

It shouldn’t go unmentioned that HWNDBYW has its high points, “Death Rays” showcases Mogwai’s expertise in blending the loud with the timid and “San Pedro” packs a real punch once it gets its act together half way through. The problem is that even the moments of inspiration seem out-of-place on the album and you can’t help thinking how much cosier theywould be in one of the previous offerings. Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will is not a bad album, it’s just not a great album and due to the standards they have set themselves, many people expect greatness. In the many factions of the Mogwai army, there will be very few flying the flag for this release.

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Playlist: Music Library 24-01-2011

The Music Library is an alternative music show which airs on Flirtfm 101.3, Galway’s alternative student station Monday-Friday between 8 and 9 am. I take charge of the tunes on Mondays. Todays show was celebration of the heights of 2010 with a selection of tunes off my’ Top Songs’ post below. No podcast unfortunately.

Baths – Lovely Bloodflow
Foals – Spanish Sahara
Tanlines – Real Life
Sleigh Bells – Tell ‘Em
Four Tet – Angel Echoes
Gold Panda – Snow & Taxis
Glasser – Apply
Crystal Castles – Celestica
How to Dress Well – You Won’t Need Me Where I’m Goin’
Mount Kimbie – Before I Move Off
Liars – Scissor
Two Door Cinema Club – Undercover Martyn
Warpaint – Undertow
Kendal Johansson – Blue Moon

Playlist: Music Library 22-11-2010

The Music Library is an alternative music show which airs on Flirtfm 101.3, Galway’s alternative student station Monday-Friday between 8 and 9 am. I take charge of the tunes on Mondays

M83 – Don’t Save us From the Flames
Deftones – Back to School
Elk – Saw Saw Hammer Hammer
At the Drive-In – Invalid litter Department
If These Trees Could Talk – Thirty-six Silos
The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio
Interpol – Obstacle 1
Enemies – Morse Code
Hope is Noise – Two Gods Short of Trinity
Nirvana – Anneurysm
Liars – Scissor
Biffy Clyro – Now the Action is on Fire
Glasser – Apply

Album: Warpaint – The Fool

The Fool is the debut album from LA all-girl quartet Warpaint. Having seen many members come and go since the band formed in 2004, Warpaint currently consists of  Emily Kokal (vocals/guitar), Theresa Wayman (vocals/guitar), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bassist/vocals), and Stella Mozgawa (drums/keyboards). Any preconceptions you may have about “girl bands” need to be checked at the door for this one. The Fool is an engaging and compelling listen which offers more every time it’s played.

Intricate layering of uncomplicated guitar with probing bass and eerie keys is the essence of Warpaint’s subtle brand of psychedelic indie. The Fool doesn’t opt for the Sleigh Bells-esque ear bursting, attention grabbing amplification, it weaves and flows, haunting your subconsciousness with a sinister edge similar to that of Liars. Their Californian background shines through in the emphasis placed on guitar which lays the foundations on most tracks a la Surfer Blood and The Red hot Chilli Peppers. The vocal melodies present on tracks including Shadows and Composure are designed to make the hairs on your neck stand on end.

Having raised a few eyebrows with their self released 2009 EP Exquisite Corpse, The Fool has cemented Warpaint’s reputation as talented songwriters. Undertow, the most obvious single on the album, has already enjoyed plenty of airtime. Unlike other contemporary all-girl acts (Au Revoir Simone) Warpaint go beyond generic pop and create music with the intelligence of Laura Marling and the eloquence of Bat for Lashes.