Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
It's hard to believe five Hamiltonians could last in the premier league of anything for this long but, as Mogwai prepare to release their seventh studio album, they are showing no signs of slowing down. Their first release in conjunction with uber-savvy alternative prophets Sub Pop, Hardcore... is reminiscent of 2006 opus Mr Beast in its willingness to swing between significantly disparate styles.
This time, set against the familiar backdrop of accessible, melodic post-rock is an unusually strong Krautrock influence (see Mexican Grand Prix) not to mention numerous returning nods towards the gigantic metallic grind of some of the Rock Action catalogue, including Torche.
Though there are plenty spells of pure, bludgeoning guitar fury, never does this album make itself more heard than on the sublime Death Rays or Letters To The Metro, the latter of which could have easily sat comfortably amidst the absolute mastery of 1999's Come On Die Young.
Most unexpected is the infectious and disarmingly straight-up George Square Thatcher Death Party which, were it not for the use of vocoder, might well be a very stoned Weezer cover. It's another accomplished work of independently-minded art from one of modern Scotland's most admirable exports. [Chris Cusack]
Playing HMV Picture House, Edinburgh on 21 Febhttp://www.mogwai.co.uk