Mogwai’s most recent album is different from what we have been accustomed to expect from the Scots, without sacrificing their recognizable style and delivery. Unlike much of their older material, we encounter a concise record that shies away from long songs, while maintaining a good pace. Whereas they used to depend on theatrical buildups that would culminate in wrathful explosions of sound in past efforts such as Mr. Beast, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will presents a shift toward shorter songs that not always follow that same predictable pattern, without losing their signature melodramatic guitar style.
Mogwai’s new approach is evident in “White Noise,” a surprisingly cheery and upbeat opening track. “Mexican Grand Prix” shows the band is exploring into a more punk-like style than their past efforts. Just when I started wondering if I was listening to a completely different band, the distorted guitars on “Rano Pano” and “Death Rays” created that epic distorted fuzz that is associated with Mogwai’s most majestically explosive moments and reintroduces the band that we have grown to love. “San Pedro” is the perfect example of a new approach in which Mogwai rocks out for three and half minutes instead of creating a eight-minute track that gets progressively louder. Both “Letters To The Metro” which lacks a climax, and the more energetic “Too Raging to Cheers,” remind me of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s style for some reason. The album’s closer, “You’re Lionel Richie,” is the one track that surpasses the eight minute mark. Just like typical Mogwai, they managed to give it an epic feel, with a soundwave that comes into being with a crash about four minutes into the song. It has an effect on the listener that persists even after the song drones out.
Overall, you will find the same Mogwai from the past, but Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, offers more surprises than their usual album, and I mean that in the best of ways. It is an enjoyable record that is to be played loud. It would be a pleasure to have my eardrums crushed by this bad boy.