With eight studio albums of boundless post-rock instrumental epics in which you can practically see the Scottish-based band teasing the melancholy from their six strings, it is very easy to take Mogwai for granted. ‘Coolverine’, the group’s first taster of upcoming record, Every Country’s Sun, follows in a long line of Mogwai slow burners with cataclysmic climaxes that feature ridiculous monikers (see ‘I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead’, ‘Glasgow Mega Snake’ & ‘I Love You, I’m Going to Blow Up Your School’). Yet to write them off as one trick would be to take away from their years of well-honed dexterity; it’s better to view the band as soundtrack artists with each LP scoring music for a film that never was.
From the opening echoes of ‘Coolverine’ you can almost envision a camera sweeping across an ice-encased Siberian landscape before settling on a lone individual trudging through the unforgiving mass of snow, the biting cold nipping at his face through the fur of his parka’s hood. The track is practically structured like a storm, calming down midway to make way for some 8-bit style keys before an icy blizzard envelopes the white plains, drums slicing through the choral hum of the synths before balance is restored and the guitars fade into the clouds.
Arriving at the start of winter, Every Country’s Sun promises to soundtrack those cold lonely evenings in front of a roaring fire. Mogwai may not evolve on ‘Coolverine’ but they do lay the ground work for their next adventure.
Every Country’s Sun is released 1st September.
Written by: Matthew Barnard