Mogwai: An Overwhelming Wall Of Sound

Mogwai

Without uttering a word in "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead," Mogwai scales a mountain of emotion, and pens poetry with effects pedals. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist

Monday's Pick

Song: "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead"

Artist: Mogwai

CD: Special Moves

Genre: Rock

For more than 15 years, Mogwai has built a reputation on its monstrous ambitions for rock music. Instead of cramming some fan favorites into a compilation, the Scottish band has marked its progress with its first live album: Special Moves.

To kick off the collection, Mogwai performs "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead," which also opened its latest album, The Hawk Is Howling. (A new studio disc, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, follows in February.) With somber pianos and ominous guitar chords, the band builds its introduction slowly, milking the tension out of each moment. The music swells with quiet guitar wails, but it suddenly becomes 50 pounds heavier once the bass and drums enter the equation.

By its halfway point, "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead" starts its final evolution into an overwhelming wall of sound. Without uttering a single word, Mogwai scales a mountain of emotion, and pens poetry with effects pedals. Special Moves spans all six of Mogwai's studio albums, and every song is performed with the same level of excitement and passion. Though early essentials like "Mogwai Fear Satan" will never fade to gray, there's reason to believe that the band's best work is still on the horizon.

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