Mogwai, “Every Country’s Sun”

Mogwai
Every Country’s Sun
TEMPORARY RESIDENCE
7/10

As the years go on and Mogwai keep churning out stellar albums, one wonders if the key to the Scots’s stamina is shutting up. The mostly instrumental band has issued hundreds of songs to date, but they deal a stinker about as often as they open their mouths—which is to say, rarely.

Ever fall in love with a musician’s debut, only to watch them fall on their ass with the follow-up? Only the biggest worrywarts among us had such fears after 1997’s Young Team, a slab of post-punk brilliance that achieved the opposite effect: After all, Come on Die Young—arguably their most revered record—was its successor. Since then, like the Steph Curry of post-rock, Mogwai have nailed three-pointer after three-pointer, taking only a few years between each solid effort.

Every Country’s Sun finds Mogwai at maybe their most positive (2003’s Happy Songs for Happy People was a gem, but an ironically named one). That’s especially true of its second half, which would make a bulletproof EP in its own right. Penultimate track “Old Poisons” pushes as punishingly as Rave Tapes standout “Remurdered,” and deserves to receive the same fan-favorite status.

That’s not to say the record’s first half slouches; “Crossing the Road Material,” one of the few tracks to feature vocals this go-’round, recalls late-career Sonic Youth. There’s also the album-opening “Coolverine,” which must be mentioned because it further proves Mogwai craft better song titles than any other band, ever, and also showcases the soul-wrapping soundscapes that are their other trademark. However, it’s when they spend the second half of Every Country’s Sun embracing their raucous side that Mogwai come across as more liberated than ever.

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