Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will / Earth Division EP
Sub Pop Records.
Whether or not Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will ever gets recognized as one the Scottish veterans’ best albums is for hindsight to decide, but there’s a certain satisfaction in recognizing that Mogwai’s seventh literally corrects every issue I had with 2008’s The Hawk Is Howling. The opulent variety at hand, which sees the band flex from fuzzed-out stompers (‘Rano Pano’) and shimmery balladry (‘Death Rays’) to Krautrock electro (‘Mexican Grand Prix’), and bolder production give Hardcore… a showy side that in every way trumps its sludgy predecessor.
Hardly a group to rest long on their laurels, Mogwai have already moved on with a brief EP of glitch and piano focused fare called Earth Division. Listening to the haunting, acoustic ‘Hound Of Winter’ and stately sprawl of ‘Does This Always Happen?’ in December – nearly a year after Hardcore… first dropped – has reaffirmed Mogwai’s importance to SCQ in 2011. These two releases present divergent ends of a band reinvigorated.