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Come On Die Young

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Album Review

At the time of its release, Mogwai's second album was as polarizing as it was unexpected. Instead of returning to the extreme dynamic shifts of their singles collection Ten Rapid and their first full-length, Young Team, the band explored elongated, implosive territory that ultimately became as vital to their music as their dramatic softs and louds, especially on works like Mr. Beast and Rave Tapes. Even the album's ironic title — borrowed from Glasgow gang jargon — signaled the sardonic sense of humor that Mogwai revisited on Rock Action and Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. Where their free-form noise improvisations were immediately enthralling on Young Team and Ten Rapid, here each song blends into the next, creating the impression of one endless track that teeters between deliberately dreamy crawls and random bursts of noise. Still, the sheer sweep of "Chocky" and "Christmas Steps" makes them instant standouts, as well as blueprints for the more intricate albums the band made in the 2000s and onward. A transitional album, Come on Die Young revealed Mogwai as a band unafraid of shaking things up even in the face of success — an approach that served them well throughout their career.


Formed: 1996 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The cosmic post-rock band Mogwai was formed in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1996 by guitarist/vocalist Stuart Braithwaite, guitarist Dominic Aitchison, and drummer Martin Bulloch, longtime friends with the goal of creating "serious guitar music." Toward that end, they added another guitarist, John Cummings, before debuting in March 1996 with the single "Tuner," a rarity in the Mogwai discography for its prominent vocals; the follow-up, a split single with Dweeb titled "Angels vs. Aliens," landed in the...
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Come On Die Young, Mogwai
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