A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Cocktail Club Film Club
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features Newswire Coming Distractions
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

Mogwai: Special Moves

B-

Mogwai

Album: Special Moves
Label: Rock Action

Community Grade (1 User)

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade

?

After teaming up with La Blogothéque impresario Vincent Moon for Adelia, I Want To Love, a short film about a nonagenarian’s first contact with post-rock, Mogwai went in front of the guerilla filmmaker’s cameras again for a concert film titled Burning, which casts the Glaswegians’ precipitous peaks and troughs of feedback-laden noise in appropriately stark black and white. Special Moves is the audio accompaniment to that film, and the first live release from a band known for its galvanizing stage show, here boiled down to the most recognizable songs from six full-lengths, and delivered in a blustery, piano-backed style with a minimum of surprise or stage banter. Tracks like “I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead” and “Hunted By A Freak,” which traffic in insurmountable washes of sound and anonymous Vocoder workouts, fare the best here, while the more nuanced pieces feel simultaneously necessary and inessential: Without them, the album would suffer from altitude sickness, as each song hiked the same trail up a mountain of Marshall stacks, but the little daubs of post-rock paint that made the originals work—like the pedal steel on “Cody,” or the plaintive banjo of “2 Rights Make 1 Wrong”—are smudged out here. As a live album, it isn’t especially compelling, but it makes a great point of entry into the band’s high-contrast sound.