Mogwai Punk RockMoogwai Punk Rock
Today Mogwai's "Come On Die Young" celebrates his 20th birthday.
Iggy Pop's sampled voice to "Punk Rock" and Stuart Braithwaite's - very rare merchandise-voice that takes "Cody" by the hand: Thus opened "Come on Die Young", Mogwai's second record, recorded between Glasgow and New York under the direction of Dave Fridmann, shortly before the production of "Deserter Songs" by Mercury Rev.
A record that was recorded after the positive and celebrated debut of "Mogwai Young Team" by specialized critics with contradictory opinions at that time: a judgement that can only be checked today if you consider the size of this record at dusk, sometimes reassuring, sometimes nervous in other moments, but never violent, from the track largely dry and minimal, but with increasing growth, from "Ex-Cowboy" to the end, richer, more turbulent and stormy, so full and stormy, so full and so with the end, from "Ex-Cowboy" to richer, more turbulent and more stormy.
Far removed from hedonism and the façade (typical of British popularism, which will inexorably lose its appeal), "Come On Die Young" is an instinctive, earthly, human work, without faces, far removed from melodic connotations, but with an inner harmony that smells of nature, like barren, icy, bleak. The Mogwai, then about 20 years old, follow a passage that even they may not have realized how important it would be, what career they would expect, what caliber they would become in the post-rock scene and beyond.
Track list: 1st Punk Rock:
Com On Die Young - Mogwai
Rock punk. After their great first work, the Scottish Mogwai return to the track 2 years later with an unexpected record. As mentioned above, the first sounds that come to our ears are sweet but very melancholic sounds, and so far nothing new has come to say.
But if you continue listening to the second track, you notice that something has changed seriously... no more distortions (with the due exceptions for some tracks of the record, especially in the second part of the record), no more violent detachments, no more silence, the noises overlapping and vice versa, the line that this record follows is continuous and to the end and the listener won't get any shocks, on the contrary will remain statically in its tranquility and melancholy.
The second song begins, a sung song... strange for the Mogwai, because until then their songs were only vocal recordings that did not come from the same complex. Part Cody, perhaps the most intimate and melancholic song on the record, a captivating melody that accompanies the listener to the deepest corners of his soul, lulling him without ever letting him fall.
But it also leaves room for another question, because after all, after all, too, does Tody have to be a sweet act of love for music, an act of deep love that forms the man-music alliance, an alliance that accompanies every person throughout their lives... like an old friend. "It' s time for Help' s Both Ways, a song with 'Slintian' echoes both for the harmony of the guitars and for the rhythmic temperament of the drums.
The Mogwai stay clear and never fall into melancholy, as was the case with the previous one. The guitars seem to have their own soul and seem to communicate something that is complemented by the following track, which is closely linked to the previous one: Year 2000 Non-Compliant Cardia. With this song (but also with the previous one, though to a lesser extent) the mogwai of electronics open up and unleash sketches of some synthesizers during the song.
The atmosphere of the record changes again, but always stays on the ground (after the cathartic experience of Cody), starting with the usual voices "off the field", Mogwai returns to the sounds vaguely reminiscent of her previous young team (in particular we sometimes notice the similarities with the song Like Herod, but as mentioned above, without continuing with the usual drains of drums and distortions so dear to the Scottish complex).
The year 2000 Non-compliant Cardia follows, leaving the electronic clamp open, now it is Kappa's turn to sing a song that, after a short, solemn and silent guitar introit, gives way to some terribly sad notes played by a piano, and immediately all the instruments come to him (you can even hear a slight distortion in the distance and a guitar as feedback).
Everything goes back to its origins and light harmonies restore the apparent calm that has so far shaped the record so much. If I had to give the following song an adjective, I would use the term "sweet". This is one of the sweetest tracks of Mogwai, but also one of the most melancholic tracks of the Scottish band.
The album continues with the long and deep May Nothing But Happiness Co, the recipe is the same as the one used so far on the record, but with this track the long times, which are very expensive for Mogwai, return. One of the shocks of the record is right in the middle of this track, all the instruments move towards a swirling crest while staying in place without ever changing completely, the sounds of the guitars become less clear, but keep a clean sound for a while.
The short piece that is presented to us is a bit like a watershed between the previous pieces and the last four that we will hear. In fact, How The Dogs Stack Up, with his scratched piano, breaks the emphasis that songs like Kappa or Tody have created on the listener. And here we are on our way to the end of the record, with ex-cowboy Mogwai marching to the old areas of the Young Team again.
The bass becomes the protagonist of the song and will be the only instrument that talks to us in various points of the song, perhaps it would be even more correct to use the verb "whisper". That' s what he does, he whispers words to us, which are then complemented by the sweet notes of the guitars. With slight distortions and continuous electronic sketches the record seems to be scratched, it seems to be torn apart by this body of sound, which now seems to be able to never stop.
And I wasn't wrong about what I said about the mono, in fact, right at the end of the song you hear a sweet melody that the Japanese band will use in the song The Battle of Heaven. With the following Chocky the Mogwai seem to return for a moment (a long moment about 9 minutes) as children and seem to want to play hide and seek with the instruments.
But we don't know if he will win this game, because the Mogwai interrupt it nicely with Christmas Steps, a lullaby disturbed by a disturbing presence coming towards the child trying to fall asleep. For the first time in the record, the distortions are felt, and when they decide to do so, they take the song in their hands and waver in the head of the listener, who until then had received only sweet and rare shocks.
We' re now at the end of this long joke, the lullaby comes to an end and our child has probably reached the point where he has decided to win the game.... and a sweet violin announces the actual end of the disc. And with Iggy Pop Mogwai is close to Come on the young, again with Punk Rock, but this time they play brass, and it seems as if they would attend a funeral in Punk Rock/Puff Daddy/Antichrist.
Everything is still there, only the sweet notes of a guitar sanction the end (but also the beginning) of this record, which is only formally aligned to the end. The Mogwai are still there, waiting for someone to click the playbutton again to (re)start Punk Rock.