Neither abandoning the good ship Matador for Sub Pop Records nor seeking out Young Team producer Paul Savage has done much to shake up Glasgow’s resident noisemonger Mogwai. Fifteen years have worn a new groove or two into the band’s sound, but this isn’t a group that looks to each album as a potential tectonic shift. The impressively named Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will is a little more forward about its crush on krautrock than previous albums have been, but there are few surprises here for longtime fans.
Vocals are an inconsistent feature on Mogwai albums, and after excising them entirely on 2008’s more daring The Hawk Is Howling, the band again flouts post-rock’s unspoken injunction against speech with Vocoder and insistently whispered commands on the motorik thumper “Mexican Grand Prix.” The band pulls off that sound slightly better on the still-light-on-landmarks “George Square Thatcher Death Party,” but the album’s real strengths lie on tracks like “How To Be A Werewolf” and the opener “White Noise,” which explode across the finish line like a marathon runner with just enough left in the tank to clinch it. The peaks and valleys have eroded into slightly more forgiving terrain on Hardcore, but they’re still worth a trip.