Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mogwai: Young Team
(Chemikal Underground re-issue)
release: June 17, 2008
[original release 1997]
style: post-rock experimental
Chemikal U offers a deeper listening of the original Young Team, first made available in the U.S through Jetset records (the band moved to Matador from there). Unlike most remastered albums, the Scotland group's debut gets much-deserved retooling, as Young Team was a rush job with even the band acknowledging its shortcomings. The unitiated will be understandably bored by the record's lack of vocals and the 7 to 10 minute pieces. Most of this bores ME. Not to mention the (always pretentious!) scattered semi-field voice snippets, with the exception of one track that has some legit vox. If you love this kinda sh*t, you may as well start with album closer "Mogwai Fear Satan," a definitive 16 minutes featuring guitar squalling balanced by flute. If you hate this kind of sh*t, try Mog's Rock Action, which has more to like if you're into electronics, melody, vocals and warmth. Some other places of note on Young Team are "With Portfolio," which has some trippy noise panning action that gave me a decent buzz and "Yes! I am a Long Way from Home," which is like a reprise of Smashing Pumpkins' "Drown." A bonus second disc, comprised of studio and live recordings from 1997-1998, is somewhat of a revelation. Woo! "I Can't Remember" is mad dark and sinister. A pretty cover of Spacemen 3's "Honey" (!) gives in to vocals and we also get a volcanic live version of "Like Herod." -Kenyon

No comments: