What Am I Listening To 2014 – “Heard About You Last Night” by Mogwai

Posted: February 21, 2014 in Album Reviews, What Am I Listening To 2014
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Mogwai_Rave_TapesMogwai is a band I’ve been aware of for a few years but haven’t got around to hearing until now. I’ve listened to their latest album “Rave Tapes” a few times and it is a collection of mostly listenable and somewhat hypnotic mid-tempo, mostly instrumental rock tracks. The band use mostly standard rock band instrumentation and motifs to produce pieces that feel like film soundtracks, ranging from edgy and aggressive to the somber and ethereal.  There’s plenty of dynamic build on nearly each track with shades running from dark to majestic. Some of it is reminiscent of mid-70’s Pink Floyd’s instrumental jams that stretch between the vocals. (There is one actual song on the album, and it wouldn’t be out of place on an early Floyd album). There might even be a hint of King Crimson circa the “Red” album, except without the big guitar solos, although that might just be me.

I like the album well enough, but this is something I would have in the background rather than something I would sit down and listen to. Nothing here knocked my socks off, but I wouldn’t hit the skip button either, with the exception perhaps of “Repelish” which is marred for me by its sample of someone explaining the subliminal satanic message that one apparently hears when “Stairway to Heaven” is played backwards.  On the other hand, some of the other tracks seem to be growing on me with subsequent listens so I might feel more strongly sometime down the road.

“Remurdered” seems to be a big track on the album. It starts off with a dark thriller-movie kind of bass riff then shifts dynamics about halfway through by adding a hyperactive synth with increasing layers of sound and density nearly up to the end. Ultimately though I went for “Heard About You Last Night” because I really like those delayed synth bells, the way the guitar comes in under them, and the overall calm feel of the track, relatively speaking.  It’s on the What Am I Listening to 2014 playlist. 

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