Mogwai : Mogwai EP

The best thing they've ever done, this month.

Ah, Christmas. Rosy-cheeked children tearing into gift wrap, a warm

fire crackling in the hearth, bare fens strafed mercilessly by a howling wind, genocide. Ah. Hello, [a]Mogwai[/a]. How nice of you to disjoint us.

Actually, this evisceratingly pretty four-song EP is more evidence of [a]Mogwai[/a]’s gradual creep away from their basic polarised template. Where before there was the storm and the calm, now there is the calm. And the slightly calmer. And, as your gran would confide to you with a quaver in her voice, when one’s not keeping busy there’s always the risk of a little melancholy.

Lead track ‘Stanley Kubrick‘, in fact, sounds like a song of mourning for HAL, with guitars welling up and baby machines gurgling their protest in a final desolate loop. ‘Christmas Song‘, meanwhile, makes devastating use of a piano for maximal seasonal Samaritans-calling potential, before perking up considerably with the odd xylophone ping. While ‘Die Girl Prom Queen‘ is less of the [I]Carrie[/I]-esque-orgy of doom you might understandably have foreseen. Instead, it boasts the restrained solemnity of the Cowdenbeath Brass Band. The best thing they’ve ever done, this month.

Kitty Empire