"friend of the night"
friend of the night
1% of monster (cd only)
cd: pias [PIASX064CDS]
7": pias [PIASX064?]
single release to precede the 'mr beast' album - the first time mogwai have released a single from an album. recorded during the sessions for the album, between april and october 2005, at the band's 'castle of doom' studio in glasgow.
'friend of the night' and '1% of monster' recorded and mixed by tony doogan, produced by tony doogan and mogwai.
'fresh crown' recorded by tony doogan, mixed and produced by john cummings.
artwork by amanda church.
charted at no.38 in the uk singles chart in the first week of release. official sales figures - shipped 6500, sold 2611.
rock sound review, jan 2006|
everyone's favourite blur-baiting glaswegians have returned at long, long last with what is possibly their most graceful five minutes to date. led by shimmering pianos and a delicate, waltz-time beat, "friend of the night" finds the guitars, feedback and ear-destroying levels of noise taking a back seat, with mogwai's much-underrated melodic aptitude taking preference. despite post-rock's increasingly well-established limitations, this not-so-bonnie bunch are somehow continuing to break new ground and for that they deserve nothing but the most eloquent praise. sadly, they won't find that sort of thing here, so they'll have to just settle for, "bloody nora, this is flippin' top this".
nme review, 14th jan 2006|
as the years roll by, you gradually begin to appreciate new mogwai material like the arrival of an old friend who always drones on about the same thing - let's say the maintenance of vintage sports cars - perhaps starting quiet, then getting progressively louder, then probably getting rather quiet again. ignore alan mcgee's promise that this is a new chapter in recorded sound (he is their manager, after all), for "friend of the night" is essentially chintz-like aural wallpaper in avant-rock's clothing, a rolling guitarscape dotted with crashing cymbals and fading-sunset piano. epically pretty, yes - but if you believe this band is any more radical than snow patrol now, sir, you kid yourself.
new 3 track cd single and 2 track 7" in on pias/ rock action from scotland's satan fearing epic feedback pre-gremlins mogwai. 'friend of the night' is pretty standard mogwai really. dreamy and hypnotic with piano, treated guitars and general fuzziness going on, very pleasant indeed. the b-side, 'fresh crown' is more of the same emotive pleasantness with minimal percussion. taken from the forthcoming album "mr beast". just don't spill water on 'em or feed 'em after midnight or you'll be in trouble like.
here lies nothing beyond what the guitarmy ranks were expecting: mogwai's
curtain-raising single, preceding the forthcoming full-length 'mr beast', is
as arrestingly beautiful as the dawning sun over hills full of nobody,
nothing but a single oak tree silhouetted against a wash of oranges and
pinks, clouds of amber; as serene as the moon's reflection in a still,
tropical sea, fireflies from the nearby white-sand shore dancing themselves
dizzy about the only lantern on board the smallest fishing vessel. it's
exactly right and effectively precise: every minor lurch, every subtle fret
board stretch, is calculated; these scottish masters of the emotive, of an
affecting and all-consuming wall of sound, have skilfully predicted every
tingle that runs from your elbow to fingernails and back, then down past the
knees to the toes, freezing you, statuesque. they command the listener's
feelings as if they - as if we - were but puppets on strings.
therefore, in a strange way, you could read 'friend of the night' as
somewhat contrived - it treads no new ground, and mogwai have many an
instrumental masterpiece to their name already; this is unlikely to be so
highly revered by long-term fans whatever its initial impact (which is
considerable in these days of jangling retro tykes). still - and pardon the
slip into critical cliché - it does entirely what it says on the tin (okay,
sleeve). you read mogwai, you hear mogwai, you're moved by mogwai and then
you buy the new album by mogwai. simple, calculated, et cetera.
so, brilliant or by-numbers? superb or the same-ol' shite? it's your call,
oh guitarmy infantry...
there are very few bands i get this excited about. but a new single, and
imminent album, from mogwai is always a cause of great anticipation. it's
always refreshing when even after four albums and countless eps, mogwai are
refusing to plough the same furrows, preferring instead to tweak their
post-rock sentiments a few degrees. and friend of the night doesn't
disappoint one bit.
opening with a trademark mogwai melodic guitar line, the piano kicks in and
it all swirls together magnificently after a minute or so, swelling
beautifully into a soundscape that is as delicately optimistic as it is
emotive. indeed, as an indicator for the forthcoming album, the single
pitches itself as a more upbeat continuation of where happy songs for happy
people left off, encompassing a richer and broader palette than the band's
earlier records. if the rest of mr beast proves to be half as good come
march, i don't think there'll be many disappointed fans.
the ominously titled 'mr beast' promises to return to the fiery quiet/loud
intensity that made us fall in love with 'young team' back in '97. mogwai's
gorgeous lead single 'friend of the night' exhibits the more serene side of
the beast, but in its understatedness and stunning splendour it's equally as
haunting as their darker moments. centred around a simple, affecting piano
loop, layers of warm noise and swathes of guitars slowly build in grandeur
and beauty before a hammering beat nails it home into our heart. really,
this is a stunning piece of work and is no more than we expect from
glasgow's finest. 'mr beast' can't come soon enough.
mogwai's latest release is a slab of deep, dark, brooding loveliness that
shivers at the edges with hope and the first dawnings of joy. it's as though
everybody who ever felt a moment's pure emotion has joined together to put a
collective finger on the point that makes you who you are.
feted by their manager as the art-rock successors to my bloody valentine,
mogwai wring everything out of their instruments on this, the first single
from forthcoming album mr beast. it's no surprise that the song is littered
with the same glaswegian melancholy as an offering from arab strap or
malcolm middleton, since it was recorded in mogwai's new glasgow studio,
castle of doom.
the tempo of friend of the night is solemn and measured, stately and serene.
the chord changes and piano motif push you on towards hope, though, avoiding
the dour melancholy that the band are traditional proponents of. there's a
real aching prettiness to this track, which says that it's okay to take life
seriously and still be happy. joy comes in different guises.