the vinyl boxset was delayed by sub-standrd test pressings, eventually hitting the shops on 4th august 2014. pre-orders had already been delivered by this stage.
to many, cody represents mogwai's most successful long-playing attempt at a "classic". others cite 'rock action' as their masterpiece. i am a bit of a cynical twat however and refuse to acknowledge that this long-running glasgow bunch have ever quite reached those dizzying heights on record. every album they've done has had me staring at my watch after 20 minutes. that's some feat. i haven't worn a watch since i was 15.
everybody knows mogwai are one of the greatest live bands in the shaky infrastructure that is currently called the united kingdom. i've seen them destroy venues and enormous festival tents alike many a time. our old departed scribe brett once mentioned how he dissolved into the foetal position at the back of one festival tent for almost the entirety of their set around the millennium, unable to move in his ecstacy-induced confusion as these scottish scamps terrorized his serotonin-flooded mind into submission during one of their trademark strobe-saturated sonic meltdowns/take-offs. i have many fond memories of being battered around by this truly humbling force of amplified nature.
what is it then with my quiet aversion to their recorded output? i dunno. i've always been a little underwhelmed by the workman-like drums. the guy is the ringo starr of post-rock. the occasional reedy vocal utterances are terrible too. i wish braithwaite wouldn't open his mouth except to abuse people. he's really good at that. their albums meander, full of good ideas, wonderful guitar interplay and grand intentions. but i get distracted easily during the course of all their records. everything fades into the background as i become subsumed by thoughts. a band for stoics if ever there was one. this one in particular is a more downbeat, atmospheric outing, i recall people were talking about pornography-era cure at the time. i still don't quite get that?
having said all this,' cody' is the album i've played far more than their others. there is something intrinsically fascinating about hearing it all unfurl, it's like a mogwai sketch-book where you can hear all their workings out, like they're refining their sound. you get the idea that as in awe to albums such as spiderland that they were, they're edging out here into pastures yet unexplored. it's a more mature and coherent listen than 'young team' (which i actually prefer because of the fat rock monsters therein) it takes real patience and once you switch into the correct listening mode 'cody' is a strangely rewarding recording. discretion and subtlety are the keys here.
this re-issue i'm sure you all know is getting the full royal cu treatment, much like their début a few years back; unreleased/rare tracks/demos/alternative versions, the tracks from the us only 'travels in constants' ep - all that shizzle - nicely housed in slipcase cd and lavish four-piece vinyl. for my few criticisms, it is still really satisfying to see this seminal british post-rock instalment get its dues a decade and a half on.