Come On Die Young



by Adam Jones is GOD USER (14 Reviews)
January 19th, 2005 | 261 replies

Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

This album, compared to most other Mogwai albums, feels like a continuous song at times. The album flows from song to song, linking well at times, and at others, youíre just so caught up, you wont notice the radical change to the next song.

The beginning track, Punk Rock, is a simple scale played over and over while an archive interview with Iggy Pop is played in the background. A little strange, but for some reason, the two work together. Straight after that, itís into CODY, and a rare occasion on a Mogwai album, there are vocals, sung by the actual band (in the past they brought in outside help if they did any at all). Even then, they seem to play a backing part to the main melody. A nice simple song, not exceeding a whisper all the way through.

Its then into another strange combo for Works Both Ways.The music is calm and slow, but in the background, a commentary on American Football can be heard. Itís another strange combo that works well, but where they got the idea to do it is a mystery. The commentary continues as the music draws to a close, which links it into Year 200 Non Compliant, a track that attempts to get louder and faster, but is stopped each time in favour of keeping the peaceful sound going. In fact, the album to this point hasnít shown any typical Mogwai traits.

Kappa, however, attempts to change this. The same idea as the last track, builds up, fades back, builds up further, and fades back. It works well, leaving you wondering when they will just let the song go. However, again they decide to keep the decibels down, and head off into Waltz For Aidan, another 3-4 minute slow mellow song. Using a lot of guitar harmonics and slow beat, it continues the albums mood, although by now youíll probably want something to just kick in and blow you away. May Nothing But Happiness Come Through Your Door does not start off as if its about to give your speakers a work out. The song is quiet and gentle again, but thereís an air of familiarity building in the album now, and although its not noticeable, its building and building with elements from all the previous tracks. The ending has a voice sample of a phone operator repeating until the fade out. Oh! How The Dogs Stack Up is almost a novelty track. It has a reversed announcer style voice at the beginning, and then a piano segment with random background noises and string scrapes playing along till the finish. At this section, it feels like itís the second part of the album coming to an end

Ex Cowboy starts with the main bass line, and the other instruments follow it shortly after. Straightaway the song feels more up-tempo and progressive, like it is building to something bigger. The drums increase in volume and speed, and the guitars layer up. This song is what the album has seemed to be working towards, and it all really does kick off at last. Definitely one of the best tracks on the album, and at just over 8 minutes, one of the longest. That is, until Chocky comes along with its quiet piano opening, and random background sounds. The piano leaves temporarily, but then returns, and the other instruments begin to play, building the song up, yet never doing anything drastic. A great example how Mogwai can take a simple progression and yet keep it varied with variations from other melodies. The main bulk of the album comes to a close here, and from here, itís on to a Mogwai classicÖ

Christmas Steps is a song that all Mogwai fans will now or have heard, and is a live show favourite. When it was originally released, it suffered from poor recording and genuinely did not feel as strong as it could be. With this re-recording, everything is better. The build up keeps you hooked, the sudden introduction of the bass at 3 times the normal volume works even better, and the distortion tone is crisp and punchy. Its also now over 10 minutes long, but it seems to feel disconnected from the rest of the album. After it, Punk Rock/Puff Daddy/An Chris brings the album to a close in a strange way. Voice recordings are messed with; a weird percussion and woodwind backing give the track its musical merits, and take the album to its conclusion.

This album is one that has to be heard as a whole. There are a few tracks that work well independently, but others suffer if not played alongside the tracks that precede them. For a Mogwai album, this almost feels like it was their experimental grounds, which is a strange thing to state, as their music as a whole is experimental. There are few moments where the songs fly off, instead it feels like the band are holding them back at times.

As an album in general, its one that takes some listening. People who donít normally listen to the more melodic slow building music will have a hard time getting to grips with it. Fans of Trip Hop, or anyone who listens to bands such as Sigur Ros may find it easier going, but itís an album that needs a full listen, then another before you can really begin to appreciate it.

Some fantastic songwriting
Simple, yet dynamic
The longer songs are really rewarding

Take a while to go anywhere
Different style of music, even for Mogwai

Overall, if you are a Mogwai fan, buy this before any of their other albums, or at least make sure you pick it up at some point. If you want to get into mogwai, but your musical tastes are restricted, avoid this one. If however, you have a wide taste in music, give this a go, free up a Sunday afternoon and let the music make the decision for you.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Scott Herren
January 22nd 2005


I agree with your rating. The only real standout track is "Ex Cowboy".

January 24th 2005


I've heard a lot about this band, and how theyre supposed to be similar to Isis, so I really need to check em out. good review too.

March 15th 2005


Album Rating: 3.0

Every song on this album is darn good.

Good revew too, AJIG.

July 10th 2005


Young Team is their best, IMO.

November 7th 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

Iv heard this album a bunch of times, its really cool, I like the one song were they have a football game playing in the background.

November 7th 2005


Album Rating: 3.0

This is a great album, even though there arn't any standout tracks IMO.

I agree with Eliminator, "Young Team" is by far there best.

December 28th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

Come On Die Young is a great album in my opinion, the Punk Rock/Cody intro is awesome, along with Ex-Cowboy and a personal favourite of mine - Christmas Steps, which is massive.

The rest of the tracks aren't so much tracks I want to hear on their own specifically, but I think they all go quite well when you sit down and listen clear through.

February 19th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Who the hell said they were similar to Isis? Or maybe I'm thinking of a different Isis.

Anyway, I love this album (see av lol) although I do think 4 is a fair rating.

June 7th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

After I heard Mr Beast, I went back and found all of their albums. I think this might be my favorite. Great songs and I love the interview that starts it off.

Two-Headed Boy
October 1st 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I got this album today and I'm pleasantly surprised. I've heard several negative things about this album but I found it to be a wonderful listen.

The Jungler
October 30th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I'm using this as my second listening expierience with Mogwai, I'm still impressed. At the moments its holding up to Young Team (but I'm not even half way done).

I'll probably check out Happy Songs next. These guys are pretty awesome

March 18th 2007


I like this I just started listening

August 12th 2008


I've only heard a few songs, but I like them better than any other Mogwai album, im not a fan of their other stuff

Minus The Flair
February 25th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5

Album hit me today like never before. Ex-Cowboy is beyond good, up there with my all time favourite post rock songs.

August 4th 2009


that sample in helps both ways is pretty irrelevent.

August 5th 2009


just listened to this once and it sounds... well, like standard post rock, I guess. it'll probably grow on me massively though.

October 4th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

There isn't enough for me to raise this above 3. Ex-Cowboy is fantastic though, I'll give you that Mogwai!

October 16th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

ok so I've always disliked this. then, suddenly, I'm in the mood to listen to this... for whatever

reason. idk why.

why am I liking what I've always felt is an album full of mostly nothing that doesn't really going

anywhere? doesn't make sense : (

edit: HOLY SHIT ex-cowboy is good! amazing how you can go form not liking something to completely

loving it out of the blue.

October 16th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

for more jizzing, see soundoff

i am the robots
October 16th 2009


mogwai ist klasse!

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