Selected by Dan
Less than a year after
energizing festival goers at last summer' Fuji Rock extravaganza, latter-day art-rock
hopefuls, Scotland's Mogwai, return to Japan with a brand new album, Rock Action. In an
increasingly common strategy for bands touring Japan, the album's release date of Apr 23
is being timed to coincide with their Tokyo gig.
Formed by guitarist/vocalist Stuart Braithwaite and bassist Dominic Aitchison in Glasgow
in 1995, Mogwai were soon being salivated over by the ever-breathless British rock press.
Early singles, "Summer" and "New Paths to Helicon" saw them being
hailed as a welcome antidote to the brutish posturing of Oasis et al, with NME calling
them "shamelessly avant-garde," Q terming them "bold and frequently
beautiful," and The Wire stating, "Though they're high on punk rock attitude,
Glaswegian group Mogwai is a subdued affair, with moments of graceful beauty nestled
inside gathering stormclouds."
With former Teenage Fanclub drummer Brendan O'Hare as temporary member, Mogwai released
their official debut album, Young Team (Jetset), in 1997. In its extended guitar
improvisations and overdubs of a girl saying, "If someone said that Mogwai are the
stars I would not object. If the stars had a sound it would sound like this," the
album brazenly flaunted their lofty ambitions. But the group also won the respect of their
peers, with Stephen Malkmus formerly of Pavement terming them, "the best band of the
21st century," and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth also championing their cause.
After releasing the two-disc remix collection Kicking a Dead Pig and the EP No Education
No Future (Fuck the Curfew) in 1998, Mogwai returned in 1999 with their next studio album,
Come On Die Young on their new label, Chemikal.
According to Mogwai's website, their forthcoming album, Rock Action is, "by far the
most ambitious set of recordings that Mogwai have ever done," and features Gruff from
the Super Furry Animals contributing vocals on the song, "dial:revenge."
play Akasaka Blitz on Apr 25.
See listings for details.