Post rock band Mogwai composes lengthy guitar-based instrumental pieces that feature dynamic contrast, melodic bass guitar lines, and heavy use of distortion and effects. The band is named after the creatures from the film Gremlins, although guitarist Stuart Braithwaite comments that “it has no significant meaning and we always intended on getting a better one, but like a lot of other things we never got round to it.” The band debuted their singles “Tuner” and “Lower” in 1996. By the end of that year, they received “single of the week” from NME for their single “Summer.”
Their debut album Mogwai Young Team has been described as “stunningly dynamic…[shifting] seamlessly from tranquil, bleakly beautiful soundscapes to brain scrambling white noise and sledgehammer riffing.” In 1999 Spin stated, “Their compositions have gotten increasingly drawn-out and austere over time, sometimes barely more than a single arpeggiated chord or two evolving for ten minutes or more, whisperingly brutal in a way that recalls Slint more than any other band.”
Barry Burns (guitar, piano, synthesizer, vocals) once stated in an interview that he and the rest of the band don’t like the categorization of post-rock because he believes it over analyzes everything. Braithwaite commented on the absence of lyrics in their music saying, “I think most people are not used to having no lyrics to focus on. Lyrics are a real comfort to some people. I guess they like to sing along and when they can’t do that with us they can get a bit upset.”
Mogwai with Majeure at Emo’s Austin.
Thursday, April 24, 2014