Glasgow’s Mogwai is synonymous with the abrasive bands that shared its home on Matador. But last fall Mogwai took its fuzzy atmospheric rock to Sub Pop, and has now released the cheekily titled Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, finding good home in the Seattle label. It’s simply a fitting home for a band—while relatively cool and sedate on its seventh full-length record, Mogwai has spent its career damaging hearing with live shows that require industrial-issue earplugs.
“San Pedro” is the guitar-driven stand-out, an intense track that draws on the long-successful and now standard shoegaze formula. Initially released as a single, “Rano Pano” is the ideal atmospheric track. It’s a paradigm example of a succinct shoegaze song (if ever such an oxymoron existed): it’s not too long, not too short; loud, but without the overtly saturated “metal” sound of Mogwai’s step-below peers. It’s “Mexican Grand Prix” that challenges a well-worn style, adding unorthodox instruments for the genre. This includes crazy things like synths, vocals and—yeah they were there—autotune. But for Mogwai, it works; the sound’s grandiloquent and goddamnit, loud.