In 2014 I've found myself - sometimes by choice, more often by assignment - re-engaging with the sort of exploratory post-rock bands on the front lines of the first wave of music I liked growing up that could be described as "worthwhile" or "cool." New Silver Mt. Zion, a recent trip to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor, now Mogwai: it's like a refresher course in contrast, dynamics, all that LOUD-quiet-LOUD Steve Albini stuff.
More than a decade out from the band's shift into electronic music and their reinvention as what at times seems to be a soundtrack band, it's hard to tell if Mogwai have aged well or just sort of boringly mellowed.
For an on-again/off-again fan of the band like me, Rave Tapes - with its half-funny joke title, spoken-word track about Led Zeppelin's satanic backmasking and more or less consistently slumped electro throbbing - makes it harder to defend them against accusations of practising polished snooze-rock. Lullabies for aging punk kids, I guess.
Remurdered is a great song, though. Sounds like a John Carpenter score.
Top track: Remurdered