By Gabriel ScheerMay 11, 2006
Opening with an atmospheric instrumental that would be the perfect lead-in to an arena-rock show, Mogwai’s new album, Mr. Beast flows solidly in their now-long tradition. With over ten years and roughly eight albums now under their belts, The Glascow, Scotland band continues to showcase their dark, brooding proclivities on Mr. Beast while concurrently returning to some of the same forceful sounds that brought them to the fore a decade ago.
Mogwai’s sound alternates between songs driven by aggressive guitars with strong bass lines, and songs heavy on melancholy piano and introspective-feeling rhythm. Mr. Beast spreads itself well between forceful instrumentals, such as the on opener “Auto Rock,” and more melodic, downbeat pieces, like “Acid Food” and “Emergency Trap,” which are both throwbacks to earlier work. Some pieces of Mr. Beast clearly have more of a pop-song structure, but this album showcases Mogwai’s harmonic side while retaining their penchant for brooding, drawn-out musical epics. The album closes with the heavy “We’re No Here,” a Tool-esque jam of dark guitars, bass, and bass drum that leaves one wallowing in the dark – and proves it as an ideal album for indie rockers with a predilection towards heavy psychedelic rockers from the 70’s.