ALBUM REVIEW: “Earth Division” by Mogwai

September 13. 2011 | By Alberto Santillan

Earth Division EP
[Sub Pop]

Since making the jump to Sub Pop Records from longtime home Matador Records, vocalist/guitarist Stuart Braithwaite and the other member of Scottish post-rock legends Mogwai continue to make nuanced and vibrant music. The Earth Division EP consists of only four songs, but they rank among their best yet. Moving forward from the orchestral overtones of their debut for the label Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will, “Get To France” opens with a sobbing gush of violins, firmly in place for the sweeping sounds they aim for. Compromise isn’t a word they care to understand, but subtlety is.

Like American counterparts Explosions In the Sky (and Canadian equivalents Godspeed! You Black Emperor), Mogwai succeed in making epic and soaring anthems out of themes sad and triumphant. “Hound of Winter,” out of a strummed guitar, fuzzy harmonica and plaintive piano, births a highlight for this record with Braithwaite emoting “Time hides things, lies hide things/I hide things, I lose things.” The sentiment is somber, but the execution is gorgeous. Plain and simple, if this is the music they’e throwing on an EP, they’ve only just gotten started.

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