Mogwai
Every Country's Sun


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
August 31st, 2017 | 45 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Probably their most accessible effort so far…

Post rock pioneers, Mogwai seem to never run out of cool titles for their music. Breaking that usual wall of dead seriousness the genre evokes, these Scots have always had a knack for sarcasm and mocking others or themselves. This approach probably has a lot do to with their musically carefree attitude as well. Whether striking gold or failing to deliver, they always continue to experiment. Thus, each album ultimately shares a different direction and overall vibe. Losing guitarist John Cummings was worrisome, yet the band successfully marches on. Every Country’s Sun is probably their most accessible effort so far, being powerful, dynamic and emotional.

Leaning towards melodic territories exploited by God is an Astronaut or Explosions in the Sky, Every Country’s Sun feels like a mélange of the respective groups' output and Mogwai’s own explorations during their career. This hybrid result is undoubtedly familiar, however, the arrangements are considerably more straightforward, as a result of less emphasis on the abrupt quiet-loud techniques that characterizes the earlier work. Technically, they followed a bit the footsteps of the ones they influenced, adding their own unmistakable formulas in between. There are also some ‘80s new wave remnants that pop up too, especially on ‘Party in the Dark’. Featuring vocoded vocals over a fairly basic, uplifting rhythm, this lovely song brings the pop side to the forefront. ‘Coolverine’, on the other hand, shares that warm, cosmic touch we are used to hearing from GIAA, but the group’s experience speaks for itself. Its gorgeous arrangements flow seamlessly, from the deep bass lines to the rich string layers to pulsing synths constantly running in the background. Picking up towards the end are the cymbal-heavy drum patterns not the rest of the instruments, which is a nice, unexpected move.

Meanwhile, from the 7-minute ‘Crossing the Road Material’ you would expect a really slow build up, still, a mid-tempo groove easily settles in. Gradually intensifying into a luxurious segment, it maintains its energy all the way until it lands very smoothly. The several layers that make up the bulk of the track are meant to work together rather than supporting a single instrument. Also, I must admit this organic approach suits them much better than the electronic bonanza present on Rave Tapes & its surrounding releases. On the softer side, ‘aka 47’ brings forth sparse keyboards and a background synth alongside few twangy guitar notes. The hazy, rather uneasy atmosphere it evokes (hence the title) is very compelling. I can definitely see it featured on an episode of Stranger Things. On the contrast, ‘Don’t Believe the Fife’ possesses a bittersweet tone, rapidly becoming mesmerizing through its sporadic piano leads and pounding floor toms. Ultimately, it bursts into a heavily distorted and effective epic. It’s been a while since Mogwai had such energy, so it sure feels welcomed.

From here to the end of the LP, things get darker, reminiscing the powerful attacks of Young Team, albeit in a condensed formula. ‘Battered at a Scramble’ is introduced by a fat bass line, followed by noisy drumming and guitar solos. Martin is the unsung hero of this album, after being quite tame in the past few years. ‘Old Poisons’ doesn’t waste any time, beginning with a greasy riff that gives way to multiple others. Like a murky ‘San Pedro’, the breakdown is embellished by dissonant guitar leads and stop-start, fill-heavy drums. Restarting halfway, we’re offered a slightly more harmonic coda, but just as powerful as before. Then, we reach the end with the massive title track, acting like an album retrospective. With a huge intro slowly fading in, complete with eerie guitars, high-pitched leads and overwhelming crashing cymbals, it unleashes the most epic moments here. This song would work really well as the soundtrack of the final minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, it’s simply marvelous.

Although Every Country’s Sun isn’t a flawless album (there are a number of tracks in the middle section that need more time to kick in), it shows us Mogwai nowhere near losing their touch. Of course purists will compare it with Young Team and say it’s not good enough, but they have come a long way since the debut. As they continue to experiment, the LP feels just as surprising as it doesn’t. Even though they spend a lot of time fine honing their formulas (loud-quiet, silently moody, electronics, etc.), I like how at times they say *** it and do something straightforward without much fuss. As a huge fan of Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will], I find this effort in the same vein, yet different in atmosphere. While that one painted an urban landscape, this record rises above from the gutter to the clear skies and occasionally in outer space. I believe they sound really well played back to back and this is a great addition to their rich catalog.



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user ratings (104)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2017


4343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album, close to Hardcore... (which I dig a lot). Love the album cover too. Still, haters gonna hate for not sounding much like old school Mogwai.



Full stream here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3xqRjtjdfQ



'Party in the Dark' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF4KJ-T8yAI

'Coolverine' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZocDT3TmAE

'Every Country's Sun' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRfkpAQkjbA

'Battered at a Scramble' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8ucOEj0Kr8

'Don't Believe the Fife' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-33WKpvXdc

'Crossing the Road Material' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHN8PmyeryM

'Old Poisons' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk2zBU1g3kY

'aka 47' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIJweirJrQE

'1000 Foot Face' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeWQTltHHyw

'20 Size' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehclHgnxC7U&t



Digging: The Flying Eyes - Burning the Season

anatelier
Contributing Reviewer
August 31st 2017


1931 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review



got a bit tired of all the overdrive guitars but some nice cuts on this

SandwichBubble
August 31st 2017


3703 Comments


"Of course purists will compare it with Young Team and say it’s not good enough"
I'll steer clear of this then. Really good review

Digging: Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals

brainmelter
August 31st 2017


4219 Comments


nice new mogwai

Digging: Salami Rose Joe Luis - son of a sauce!

emailsneverdie
August 31st 2017


52 Comments


rats

Winesburgohio
Contributing Reviewer
August 31st 2017


1771 Comments


cool that there's new Mogwai but man this review is... kinda amateurish, especially considering you're staff. idk if there's any point going through it line-by-line considering you've already A S C E N D E D but there is a lot here that is clumsily written, syntactically incorrect and poorly-chosen words just fwiw

Digging: The National - Sleep Well Beast

Dewinged
August 31st 2017


5385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was looking forward to this, glad you covered it Raul, jamming it soon!

Digging: Toothless - The Pace of the Passing

Sunnyvale
August 31st 2017


686 Comments


Sweet, didn't know Mogwai had a new one coming out.

BMDrummer
August 31st 2017


13942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

fuck yes, can't wait to see these guys in december



gotta check this asap

trackbytrackreviews
August 31st 2017


3314 Comments


Damn that cover is nice

Looks like a planet being glassed

Faraudo
September 1st 2017


1728 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

At last! A memorable record from them.

Digging: The National - Sleep Well Beast

Flugmorph
September 1st 2017


17035 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so much new music in august/september im getting eargasms just thinking about it

Digging: Perturbator - New Model

sixdegrees
September 1st 2017


24367 Comments


don't disappoint me............

Digging: Alcian Blue - Translucent

Flugmorph
September 1st 2017


17035 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Every Country’s Sun takes two decades of Mogwai‘s signature, contrasting sounds – towering intensity,

pastoral introspection, synth-rock minimalism, DNA-detonating volume – and distills it, beautifully, into 56 concise minutes of gracious elegance,

hymnal trance-rock, and transcendental euphoria.

Produced by psych-rock luminary Dave Fridmann, it’s a structural soundscape built from stark foundations up;

from a gentle, twinkling, synth-rock spectre to a solid, blown-out, skyward-thrusting obelisk.

There’s percussive, dream-state electronics (“Coolverine”), church organs as chariots of existential fire (“Brain Sweeties”),

tremulous, foreboding bleeping – possibly from a dying android (“aka 47”).

Their most transportive album yet, it also hosts their most fully realized art-pop sing-along of their storied history,

“Party In The Dark,” a head-spinning disco-dream double-helix echoing New Order and The Flaming Lips,

featuring Braithwaite’s seldom-heard melodic vocals declaring he’s “directionless and innocent, searching for another piece of mind”.

This is music as a keep-out chrysalis, protective audio armor through exalting organs and portentous, dissonant guitar fuzz warping at the edges,

bending the world inside-out into a reality in which you’d much rather live.

The last three songs ascend into explosive exorcism, closing with the colossal “Every Country’s Sun,”

its searching intensity whooshing towards infinity in a dazzling cosmic crescendo.

sixdegrees
September 1st 2017


24367 Comments


sweet

Flugmorph
September 1st 2017


17035 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i may or may not have copy pasted that...

sixdegrees
September 1st 2017


24367 Comments


either way im hyped!!!!!

zakalwe
September 1st 2017


22742 Comments


I'm a mogwai fanboy but on first impressions fuck me this album is special. Starts off pleasant but builds into a colossal mind melter of a record. Nobody touches the mog when it comes to this sort of shite. Don't Believe the Fife is amazing and then the following three songs take it somewhere else and rock like fuck.

Maybe lacks the originality of Cody or the disembodiment of happy songs but this is outstanding.

Flugmorph
September 1st 2017


17035 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

zak being hyped makes my hyped

zakalwe
September 1st 2017


22742 Comments


Brace yourself dude. Album is the bollocks.



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