Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Album Review: Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

As taken from DeadJournalist.com!


Album Review: Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
By Kevin Crawford

Scottish post-rock band Mogwai’s latest offering in the form of Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Willsees the band going in a new, more electronic-oriented direction than much of their past catalog. While the core trademark melodic instrumental sound is still present, you can definitely notice a difference from previous releases such as Happy Songs For Happy People and The Hawk Is Howling.

Fans of the older material may initially be thrown off guard, but listeners will soon recognize that this is a group that is willing to try new things, which ultimately pay off.

The first new key element is the glitch sound effects followed by a synthesized keyboard/vocoder arrangement that are heard in the track “Mexican Grand Prix”. Right from the get go, its noticeable this isn’t a repeat from the past.

In another major highlight track of the record, “Rano Pano” starts off with a more traditional build-up riff, which eventually crescendos into a beautiful blend of chords that are reminiscent of the trending shoegaze genre.

One of the major selling points of Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will is the variety of tempos jam packed within it. Whether it’s an upbeat, almost optimistically charged rhythm spread throughout “Death Rays” or an aggressive, calculated dynamic as heard in “San Pedro”, it truly does a great job of covering every option a post-rock band of this caliber has at its disposal.

As with a lot of bands that spawn from this genre, there are however certain points where the disc seems to drag on for just a little longer than necessary, leaving the listener with a sense that this is nothing more than background music. You don’t exactly feel captivated by certain songs, despite Mogwai’s unique efforts to do so.

All in all, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will is the type of album that may in fact alienate some of the long-time members of the Mogwai fan-base. But at the end of the day, you definitely get the sense that they are putting out the best possible record that they were capable of. While this may not be ranked at the top of their discography any time soon, there are plenty of positive traits that make checking out this album justifiable.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Top 50 Albums of the Year: #25-1

I feel like this pretty much perfectly summarizes the best music that came out this past year. We've got everything from electronic/dubstep musicians, indie groups both new and old picking up steam, mainstream hip-hop acts, and a few surprises along the way. So here it is! The top 25 albums of the year 2010!

Local Natives - Gorilla Manor
Genre: Indie Rock

Glasser - Ring
Genre: Experimental, Electro-Pop

The Books - The Way Out
Genre: Electronica/Folk

Miami Horror - Illumination
Genre: Synthpop

River City Extension - The Unmistakenable Man
Genre: Folk Rock

*Note: I could only find live versions of these songs. The production quality on the studio album is actually quite good.

LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
Genre: Dance, Electronic

Sleigh Bells - Treats
Genre: Noise-pop

The Tallest Man On Earth - The Wild Hunt
Genre: Folk/Singer-songwriter

Chromeo - Business Casual
Genre: Electro-Funk

Rusko - O.M.G!
Genre: Dubstep

Caribou - Swim
Genre: Electronica

Yeasayer - Odd Blood
Genre: Psychedelic, Experimental

Agalloch - Marrow of the Spirit
Genre: Black Metal, Folk Metal

Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
Genre: Hip hop

The Glitch Mob - Drink The Sea/Drink The Sea Part 2: The Mixtape
Genre: Electronic, Glitch, IDM

Uffie - Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans
Genre: Alternative Dance, Electro hip-hop

Tobacco - Maniac Meat
Genre: Psychedelic, Experimental

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Genre: Hip hop

Girl Talk - All Day
Genre: Mash-up, Party Music

Devo - Something For Everybody
Genre: New Wave, Synthrock

Beach House - Teen Dream
Genre: Dream-Pop

Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
Genre: Punk Rock, Lo-Fi

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Genre: Alternative hip hop, alternative rock

Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Genre: Indie Rock, Dream-Pop

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles II
Genre: Electronic, Experimental

That about wraps it up for this year in music! It's definitely been quite the exciting ride. I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did! Some really great stuff came out this year. I wander what 2011 has in store for us...only time will tell!