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Mr. Beast

Mogwai

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Album Review

Possibly the most accessible yet sophisticated album Mogwai has released, Mr. Beast strips away most of the electronic embellishment of their recent work in favor of a back-to-basics sound that returns to and expands on the approach they pioneered on Young Team. Mr. Beast is also a surprisingly spontaneous-sounding album — in the best possible sense, its freshness makes it feel like a recorded practice session and also helps give relatively delicate pieces like "Team Handed" the same amount of impact that heavy, searing tracks like the closer, "We're No Here," have. Interestingly, more of Mr. Beast tends toward the former kind of song than the latter; "Friend of the Night," "Emergency Trap," and the glorious, slow-burning album opener, "Auto-Rock," give the album an unusually refined, even elegant feel that is underscored by the prominent use of piano and lap steel in the arrangements. On songs like "Acid Food" and the magnificent "I Chose Horses" — which features cavernously deep bass and spoken word vocals by Tetsuya Fukagawa from the Japanese hardcore band Envy — Mr. Beast feels downright pastoral. However, Mogwai doesn't give up their heavy side entirely, as the aforementioned "We're No Here" and "Glasgow Mega-Snake" show; any song that has either "mega" or "snake" in the title should rock, and this one does, kicking off with a claustrophobic snarl of guitars that makes this one of the most intense pieces Mogwai has ever recorded. Mr. Beast manages to be immediate without sounding dumbed-down..

Customer Reviews

Very accessible post-rock

This is probably Mogwai's most accessible release. It has more pretty little melodic parts than other albums without losing any of the gravity. The piano comes to the front on Mr. Beast, along with a greater focus on vocals for the band. Songs like the lead track "Auto Rock", "Acid Food", and "Emergency Trap" certainly have that Mogwai tone to them, only subtler. However, this album feels very cohesive and these songs work beautifully right next to the more signature, overdriven Mogwai songs like "Glasgow Mega-Snake" and "We're No Here", which brings the album to a crashing close. Overall, a great choice for a newcomer to Mogwai without losing anything for the listener who has been with Mogwai for their last few albums. The attributes that make it feel more accessible also make it feel like a growth or divergence for Mogwai that makes it a very interesting album, certainly one of the stand-outs right now in the post-rock genre.

might be my favorite mogwai album

this is a very different mogwai album, and in this case, it works perfectly. the heavy stuff is HEAVY and the mellow stuff is beautiful. gone are the days of the long, "waiting for the build" songs (which isn't a bad thing). this is a focused album, every note seems to be there for a reason. each song is like mogwai compressed all their ideas down to a single tight track. more importantly, it really works. i was skeptical at first but this album has proven its quality time and time again. mogwai fans should definitely get it and be surprised. this may win over some new fans as well.

Suprise suprise!

I love mogwai, but I am far from an expert on there catalog. This album is really suprising, as it is both ear splittingly loud, and melodic. There are harsh distorted tones, textured with cool electronic background elements. This seems to be a culmination of all their previous efforts. For example the straight ahead rock of "Young Team", the electronics introduced on "Happy Songs for Happy People", but perhaps the most suprising element is the large amount of lyrics included on the songs. They work very well. I am still becoming acquainted with this album, but check out the track Acid Food to see what I am talking about.

Biography

Formed: 1996 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

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

The cosmic post-rock band Mogwai were 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...
Full Bio