Monday, July 14, 2008

Mogwai, "The Sun Smells Too Loud"

My spidey-sense detects a lot of excitement about the new Mogwai album, stemming from the buzz around the new track "The Sun Smells Too Loud", which was posted on the Matador website recently. I guess that the expression about the seven-year statute of limitations for recycling ideas is true, because I can definitely imagine this track having surfaced as a long lost "Rock Action" outtake, as if they were revisiting the second half of "Two Rights One Wrong", with a whiff of M83's recent "dreaming of the 80's" synthfests replacing the mountains of guitar feedback. The point being that "The Sun Smells Too Loud" doesn't really signal a new direction for Mogwai, as yet again the band's (false and incomplete) reputation for little more than soft/loud/Slint dynamics has preceded it and convinced a lot of folks that they're on to something drastically new, when they really aren't. So I'm excited, as I always am with the release of new Mogwai material, but with some reservations.

Besides, when Mogwai "go electronic" or some variation thereof, I have always preferred it when they do it in a simplistic, lo-fi way, i.e. "Superheroes of BMX", rather than with the lush and organic approach they took with "The Sun Smells Too Loud". But mainly I'm wondering why Mogwai are settling into a habit of stealing from themselves (the style of their last album, "Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait", was also lifted faithfully from what they had been doing about seven years previous) instead of letting forward evolution take its course.

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