• Mon, Feb 24, 2020

Mogwai - Les Revenants


album Reviews Apr 03, 03:17pm

MEDHA SINGH Not much of the year has gone by and therefore, it is safe to


Not much of the year has gone by and therefore, it is safe to say, this is the best album I’ve heard all year. Mogwai have landed a gig with French Television show 'Les Revenants' (which loosely translates to ‘those who returned’) that makes an interesting claim of being a zombie show. However, upon a closer examination it is quite something else.  These aren’t sociopath, unconscious dead mounds of decomposed flesh hankering for blood, but mere people hanging somewhere between a last breath and their eventual demise, returning to a small town sleeping in the lap of fog laden, gargantuan mountains. Mogwai in their tracks, conflate both the content of the show and the feeling of a great quietism and calm that comes bound with the location. It works well.
This album is reminiscent of Clint Mansell’s score for Moon (2009) the seminal sci-fi debut by director Duncan Jones. “We tried to keep the rock to a minimum," said guitarist John Cummings in an earlier interview. It is only in ‘Wizard Motor’, one of the key tracks on the album that they return to claim their style and authenticity. The tracks are very emotional, particularly in the coalescing of several guitars on ‘Special N’. It is always heartening to discover vocals on a Mogwai track as the sighting of vocal harmonies are rare and unexpected. One finds an instance of the same unfurling across a subtle guitar-woven background on ‘What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?’
The last time Mogwai recorded an album was for a French film on Zinedine Zidane, which was rendered bearable solely due to the epic mood Mogwai had single-handedly managed to create. This time however, they’ve maintained an aesthetic that is meant to act as a mere supplement - it doesn’t overwhelm the instances in which their songs play on the show (yes, the show is quite fun), and they’ve exercised a lot of restraint. It is uncharacteristic of them to have toned down the guitars to such an extent, and yet they have managed to arrive at brilliance. An element on freedom and exploration, similar to the sense of openness that Sigur Ros convey, is a constant motif throughout this record. The fourteen tracks on the album have undoubtedly set their own standard apart from the show; the consummation of guitars, synths and the piano on their tracks is the tip of the iceberg. With a cherry on top. And some icing too. Go get yourself a copy now and forget you read all this nonsense.

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