Mogwai: Kin review

Remember Uncle Ted’s First Law of Music: if it isn’t the devil, it isn’t music. None of that wet marshmallow crooning. Uncle Ted’s Second Law of the Musical Phrase: Lay hold of it, as a tiger lays hold of a pig.
Ted Hughes

Regular readers will know that Mogwai are my favourite band. I’m still recovering from seeing them live in February this year, where they made a sonic assault on the Colston Hall that was not unlike a Panzer tank going through a Polish village during the Blitzkrieg, or akin to the tiger in Uncle Ted’s sage counsel above. I think that experience altered the molecular structure of my body in some way, and while it’s always good to see them blow just about every other band off the stage, out of the doors and down the street like litter, I prefer to hear them on record, at home, alone, in the dark. Mogwai’s soundtrack albums always seem to get second billing to their ‘proper’ studio albums, but I feel that it’s in these projects where they tend to make some of their most focussed and effective work. Tracks like ‘Half Time’ from Zidane, or ‘This Messiah Needs Watching’ from Les Revenants are as good as anything they’ve ever produced, and the whole Atomic album was, for me, a significant return to form. Kin has elements of all those albums, consolidating everything they’ve learned in their two decades as a band, and applying all the elements of their ‘signature’ sound to great effect, especially on stand-out tracks like ‘Donuts’, ‘Guns Down’ and the title track ‘Kin’. Based on this evidence, I really think they should do more soundtracks, and off the top of my head I’m wondering what up-and-coming projects like Denis Villeneuve’s Dune or the imminent Suspiria remake would have been like with the ‘gwai involved? Needless to say, Kin is highly recommended.

Mogwai – Donuts (Kin soundtrack)

Mogwai – We’re Not Done (Kin soundtrack)

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