Mr. Beast


I've always been told that there are two types of music fans in this world. You are either a Stones or Beatles person, or in this case a Blur or Mogwai person. But is it OK to like both bands almost (yes, almost) identically, without coming across as an indecisive individual? I would hope so, because the bands are incomparable and excel in different areas, or at least that is what I am telling myself since I am in that boat. Regardless of which band you prefer, the new album from Mogwai, Mr. Beast, is worth checking out. Don't worry if you think that you don't have the time, as each song on the album runs about four, maybe five, minutes long. That's my main complaint with the record. It's not the lack of words, the Sigur Ros-ness building and layering of songs, or anything else. I just want to hear them drone on and do what they do best for longer than four minutes per song. Where is my new "My Father My King"? I digress and step down from my soapbox, mainly because A) that song was never on a proper album and B) what Mr. Beast lacks in length, they more than make up for in putting a trademark stamp on their signature sound. The songs sound like they should be coming from the band themselves, and in a warped way they come across as their own influencers. Take the guitar-squealing "Glasgow Mega-Snake" for example. It screams (literally) at the listener as the standout song on the album. That is, next to "We're No Here". Both of these songs are the most important on the LP in my opinion, and hit the listener upside the head like a sledgehammer. The nice thing about Mogwai is that they also have a softer side mirroring the abrasive one. "Acid Food" is a mellow tune that is the closest thing to a lullaby you could get from the band. It features Stuart Braithwaite's low vocals, steel pedal and a glockenspiel to boot. Then there is "Travel Is Dangerous", which follows the patented Mogwai formula that is quiet/loud/quiet/loud/quiet. The same goes for "Friend Of The Night", where a piano pushes to the forefront and carries the song through as lyrics would in most. All in all, Mr. Beast is not groundbreaking, but its not meant to be. Ten years in and five albums out, Mogwai follows the notions that if it's not broken then don't fix it. An idea that some other bands might want to jot down. So take the 43 minutes and listen to the ten new tracks, just make sure you do it with headphones first.
Mogwai
Matador Records

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Mr. Beast