Review Summary: Just when I'd given up trying to care, Mogwai give me everything I've ever wanted.
Just when I’d given up all hope of buying into the hype that’s been surrounding Mogwai their debut, they go and release something that makes me almost believe. After all, I’ve always been perturbed how the band has always held their “post-rock” elite status after releasing bland record after bland record. Mr. Beast
and Young Team
can both easily be cited as efforts that worked, and worked well. However, for each of those, there’s one or more The Hawk is Howling
to match it. Well, as I stand here a skeptic, Earth Division
appears, attempting to make me into believer.
What Earth Division
does so well is play up on Mogwai’s strengths, creating an incredibly tight, cohesive package that ends up being some of the most beautiful material the band has ever produced. It’s more minimal, and the band’s eccentricities are kept in check. Granted, it’s all a little more conventional than the band is accustomed to, but it works so damn well that it’s difficult to complain. Overall, it’s a different sort of beast, and one which Mogwai are more than comfortable with. Strings and keys are featured more prominently, and in a much more intimate fashion than ever before. Also, the band’s more rock oriented sound has all but been removed, making Earth Division
one of the band’s most mellow releases. Whether it be the lush piano filled “Get to France,” or the haunting vocal lead “Hound of Winter,” Earth Division
holds plenty of incredible material to keep one listening.
The EP’s brevity is actually one of its stronger aspects. What was so irksome about their latest release, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
was the absolutely inane runtime. Compared to most records produced by their peers, said album was actually rather short, yet felt twice as long. In trimming some of the fat, Mogwai have ensured that Earth Division
not buckle under the same faults. True, it is an EP, and by nature it is brief, but it should be commended on how well it utilizes its short sixteen minute runtime. Never does it bore and never does it outstay its welcome.
is a marvelous little EP by one of post-rock’s most inconsistent bands. Beautiful and minimal, yet somehow completely exhilarating, Earth Division
is something both fans and skeptics alike can enjoy.