Rave Tapes

Sub Pop/Rock Action

Street: 01.21

Mogwai = Neu! + Maserati + Explosions in the Sky

If I would have bet you 10 years ago that Mogwai would return to its synth explorations on 2003’s Happy Songs for Happy People and turn into a kinda boring post-rock band that locked itself into a relentless kraut groove, I would be $12.69 richer (adjusted for inflation). On the back of 2011’s technically excellent, but well-worn, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, Rave Tapes finds its muse in John Carpenter synth work and locked-in kraut bass lines, but without all the piss and vitriol that made Mogwai’s sonic attacks such refined masterpieces. With that said, this is a Mogwai album, and Mogwai at their most flat is better than 90 percent of the often hackneyed post-rock genre. By changing up their sound, Mogwai don’t really break any new ground, but still sound better than most of their crescendo-core imitators. –Ryan Hall