Quintessentially Mogwai while remaining fresh + exciting
Chalrie Brock
11:03 18th February 2021

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Mogwai return with the triumphant As The Love Continues this week, showing that the Glaswegian band are continuing to create stunning soundscapes well into their second decade together. 

As The Love Continues opens with the grandiose, uplifting ‘To The Bin My Friend, Tonight We Vacate Earth’, which is a five-minute epic, built on heavy drums and synth keys. It sounds like a quintessential Mogwai track, as if the band are taking influence from themselves but still creating fresh and original songs.

‘Here We, Here We, Here We Go Forever’ is more electronic, using drum machine beats and guitars that sound like Daft Punk. The track really grows into a totally different beast however: the keys become more melodic and the instrumentation much more pensive. This is the true beauty of Mogwai, they take you on an entire journey in a five-minute song without a single lyric sung.

'Dry Fantasy' has been a regular on 6Music since it was released and sounds that bit better in the context of an album, transitioning flawlessly into 'Ritchie Sacramento', the first track with the addition of vocals. Braithwaite sounds fantastic as ever, his gentle delivery enjoyably contrasting with the heavier guitars underneath. This is one of the shorter cuts on As The Love Continues (a mere 4:12) but seems to encapsulate the album perfectly.

As its title suggests, ‘Drive The Nail’ is one of the heavier tracks, luring you in with its soft guitar and odd drumbeat before ramping it all the way up. The tracks flips you on your head once more, taking it back down to the opening instrumentation which builds and builds to this epic monolith of pure art-rock crescendo.

Mogwai take the album in a slightly different direction from here: ‘Fuck Off Money' is a more electronic-sounding track, the use of keys, synthesisers make this one of the more interesting cuts from the record. Mogwai follow it up by launching right back into that expansive, noisy classic Mogwai experience. ‘Ceiling Granny’ is an absolutely perfect example of Mogwai doing what Mogwai do best - grungy guitars and heavy drums combine to create one of the standout tracks. 

‘Midnight Fit’ is a track that explores other areas of Mogwai’s skillset, utilising what sounds like a full orchestra to create a totally beautiful track. This has the perfect mix of sheer musicianship and talent, as well as chaotic noise. The following track, however is the complete contrast: ‘Pat Stains’ is lo-fi, offering a more melancholic approach, before it slowly shifts through the gears and the track once again grows into a huge monster of a song - Mogwai are exceptional at writing these slow burners that reel you in with pensive and unassuming instrumentations that just grow and grow into ten-foot-tall epics.

The album closes with ‘It’s What I Want To Do, Mum’; a sprawling seven-minute track calling back to those melancholic, reflective tones of earlier cuts. This too, is a drawn out opening that just keeps expanding, there is some brilliant drumming on this track, as well as superb instrumentation throughout.

Mogwai have managed to write the most quintessentially “Mogwai” sounding album, while remaining fresh, exciting and original. They’re masters of their craft and As The Love Continues is one of their more enjoyable records in years.

As The Love Continues arrives 19 February via Rock Action Records.

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Photo: Press