Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
The album title is a clear indication that Mogwai have no intention of fading away. Nor should they, based on this triumphant showing. On their seventh outing in 14 years, the five-piece band sound as good as ever.
The Scottish rockers still make one hell of a noise, but the mature Mogwai have nuanced it with moments of restraint and giving a more traditional structure to each of their spaced-out metal-rock songs, following on from the high points of previous release The Hawk is Howling.
It's not exactly a mellowing, but they sound more upbeat-focused than ever in Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, from the melodic opener White Noise, through the crescendo of How To Be a Werewolf. As always, since there are few lyrics on their mostly instrumental albums, Mogwai's sense of humour is evident in the song titles such as George Square Thatcher Death Party and You're Lionel Richie, but you can sense they're really having fun here.
For a band that have eschewed radio-friendly songs, Hardcore Never Dies comes as close as they'll ever get, likely to win over new fans as well as delight the faithful. You might still get a nosebleed, but you'll be smiling.