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Mr Beast

4.3 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 7, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Though there are still hints aplenty of the subtle beauty that adorned big chunks of "Rock Action" and "Happy Songs For Happy People", there's an equal portion of head crushers on this one that'll leave you gasping for air. "An ultramodern rock masterpiece" - Mojo. Matador. 2006.


With tune titles like "Glasgow Mega-Snake," "Acid Food," and "I Chose Horses," it should be clear Mogwai hasn’t taken any easy, mellowing departures on Mr. Beast. Sure, the album opens with the calming guitar atmospherics of "Auto Rock," but then "Glasgow Mega-Snake" comes bounding out with a crushing jog of a beat and a trademark granite slab of guitars. The Scots also indulge incrementally more beautiful and terrifying dreamscapes, especially the down-turned piano topping that hovers above a guitar storm on "Emergency Trap" and the layers of clear-toned melody that chime over a swirl of choked, feedback-drenched power on "Folk Death 95." There has long been talk of Scottish miserablism, and this colors and grinds the idea blissfully. --Andrew Bartlett

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Auto Rock
  2. Glasgow Mega-Snake
  3. Acid Food
  4. Travel Is Dangerous
  5. Team Handed
  6. Friend Of The Night
  7. Emergency Trap
  8. Folk Death 95
  9. I Chose Horses
  10. We're No Here

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 7, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B000E6GC2U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,358 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I write very few reviews, mainly because I believe musical appreciation is very, very subjective and that written reviews generally do not translate well into something useable for most readers. In any event, I like a lot of different types of music and have seen many different shows, which I will not bore you with here. However, I am so impressed with Mogwai's latest tour that I felt compelled to briefly write my comments and impressions, to use as you see fit.

I had no experience with Mogwai until I saw them live, and now I'm completely hooked. This happens maybe once a decade for me, and usually the band is more well known, and it has always taken me a much longer time to appreciate said bands. I was stunned from the first note of their opening song. I found Mogwai's latest tour and Mr. Beast to be a profound and moving production. For me, their music and production is some of the best I've ever heard. Mr. Beast is now a permanent fixture in my CD players, but it is hard to duplicate the live impact and sound quality of a Mogwai show.

IMHO, Mr. Beast is a natural progression for Mogwai, and is one of their best achievements to date. If you are down with this genre of music, you will not be disappointed with Mr. Beast. Play it very, very loud on a powerful system to approximate their live impact. If you like Mr. Beast, you will love their shows. The only criticism I have of Mr. Beast and Mogwai's shows, as I've commented to anyone who was interested, is that they're too darned short.

IMHO, this is one of the best albums and tours of '06. I wish them every success.
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Format: Audio CD
When we first heard Mogwai's Young Team record almost a decade ago, we were knocked on my a--. That was exactly what I had been itching to hear but just didn't know it. Epic near metal post rock, dramatic and ultra dynamic, soft / loud moody indie rock epics. Taking bits and pieces from the Pixies and Slint and other bands that came before but making them into something wholly new and unique.

And thus was spawned band after band, from Godspeed to the current crop of metallic post rock to the brooding instrumental indie rock of bands like Explosions In The Sky. All of them owe a massive debt to Mogwai, and Young Team in particular. After Young Team, Mogwai continued to do what they did arguably better than anyone else, each record a subtle variation on the last, one was more consistantly louder, one was softer and dreamier, the next was a "return to the ultra dynamism of Young Team" the next was something completely new and different. Ultimately though, they all sounded like Mogwai, and if there was such thing as a cd that held 12 hours of music, they all could have come from that single 12 hour album. But who was complaining? Not me. I loved the sound of Mogwai, and didn't want them to change, sure I would have dug another Young Team, but it was joy to get a new Mogwai record every time, that was instantly familiar, but had enough new stuff going on that it kept things interesting.

And so it went for almost a decade, which brings us to Mr. Beast. And on the one hand, it perfectly keeps with the pattern, it's most definitely Mogwai, sonically there's no doubt about that, but on the other, this is a very weird record. For Mogwai at least.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been living with Mr. Beast for almost 24 hours now, and I'm still completely stunned. The CD hasn't left my player, whether that's been the one in my car, at home, or on my computer. I'm a Mogwai noob -- I've heard of them before but never really listened to any of their CDs. And now I'm setting aside the Radiohead, the Sigur Ros, and the miscellaneous electronica and ambient CDs I own to make room for the huge sonic space Mr. Beast wants to take up.

The lyrics are few, but that's okay -- glance at the title of each track before the track plays and let it whirl around in your mind like a mantra, and a detailed picture of something will come to mind. I especially like track #6, "Friend of the Night". On this track guitar and drums swap duties keeping time, echoing the ticks of a clock counting down the midnight hours. Meanwhile, piano with generous use of damper pedal takes flight on the melody backed by a guitar that sounds like it could have been wielded by Sigur Ros' J?n ??r Birgisson. The net effect is a perfect track for driving down the streets of an urban wasteland at four in the morning when you know sunrise is just a couple hours away.
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Format: Audio CD
The thing you have to understand about Mogwai's music involves

fractals. Their music gives an overwhelming sense of vast

spaces that you are only seeing a part of. Like Clyfford Styll's (hope I'm remembering that correctly) vast and threatening abstractions, small slices of some unimaginable whole.

That having been said, the 'gwai boys have changed the procedure somewhat. Mr. Beast is a quite different record from its predecessors, yet retains some similarities that link it with previous efforts.

It opens with a standard Mogwai gambit, the absolutely luminous "Auto Rock". Reminiscent of Rock Action's "Sine Wave", it's a slow build, piano driven mood piece that rides the signature Mogwai crescendo to an almost tribal ending, Martin Bulloch's drums taking over the ending. The soft/loud dynamic is not as prevalent as it has been, as "Glasgow Mega-snake" and "Folk Death 95" show. The former reaches out of the stereo and pummels you, with only a quiet single guitar intro lending to the soft half of the dynamic. Album closer "we're no here" is another guitar assault, finding Mogwai revisiting its Young Team punk like sound, but tighter, more focused, no less epic, though.

Only three vocal cuts this time around (one spoken in Japanese!)

with "Travel is dangerous" being quite good. Somewhat like "tuner" on steroids. The vocals are once again treated like just another instrument, no higher in the mix than any other.

I'd almost be tempted to say that Mogwai has made their "pop" record. No song is above Five minutes or so, and the epic length of previous records has been replaced by a take it or leave it attitude. There 's no screwing about here, they're out for blood.
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