bright light ! discog

"hardcore will never die, but you will" 14th february 2011

track listing

  • white noise
  • mexican grand prix
  • rano pano
  • death rays
  • san pedro
  • letters to the metro
  • george square thatcher death party
  • how to be a werewolf
  • too raging to cheers
  • you're lionel richie

    additional tracks:

  • music for a forgotten future (the singing mountain)
  • mexican grand prix (demo)
  • george square thatcher death party (demo)
  • san pedro (demo)
  • how to be a werewolf (demo)
  • dist rev (demo)
  • slight domestic
  • hasenheide

    initial vinyl and cd (and presumably download) editions will include 'music for a forgotten future (the singing mountain)' as a bonus track. the five demos are included in the vinyl boxset. 'dist rev' is the demo version of 'you're lionel richie'
    'slight domestic' and 'hasenheide' appear as bonus tracks on the japanese cd. 'hasenheide' also appears on the b-side of the 'rano pano' single.
    'slight domestic' appears as a bonus track on the mexican cd.

    sleeve photo by antony crook. hudson river, ny from fort washington park just south of the george washington bridge, looking downtown.

    charted at no.25 on the uk album chart, 20th february 2011

    international release dates

    uk: 14th february 2011 - rock action
    japan: 2nd february 2011 - hostess
    usa: 15th february 2011 - sub pop
    australia: 11th february 2011 - spunk

    catalogue numbers etc.

    uk/europe 2 x cd: rock action [ROCKACT55CDX]
    uk/europe cd: rock action [ROCKACT55CD]
    uk/europe 2 x lp: rock action [ROCKACT55LP]
    japan 2 x cd: hostess [HSE30251]
    japan cd: hostess [HSE30254]
    australia: spunk [URA348]
    mexico: arts & crafts mexico [A&CMX031]

    production/recording notes

    seventh studio album. just over 53 minutes long.

    'rano pano' was written by barry burns. 'san pedro' was written by john cummings.

    vocals on 'mexican grand prix' by luke sutherland and stuart braithwaite.
    the spoken section on 'you're lionel richie' was written and recorded by dr. kiko, a long-time friend of the band. scroll down for further info.

    from [jan 2010]:

    braithwaite went on to reveal that mogwai are currently starting work on new material, saying: "we've just started to write some new songs. we're gonna record late summer and try and have a record out early next year."

    he continued: "we don't all live in scotland now, so we can of do things on our own and then later on – probably in the spring – we'll all get together…and give each other a hard time about our new music!"

    he also said that the band are not planning to play live again until the new album is recorded. "every time we do the odd gig it kind of drags everything else on," he said, "so we're gonna concentrate on the new record."

    stuart commented on twitter on feb 2010 that he was trying to learn new john cummings riffs. first band rehearsal 3rd march 2010 - working up new material for the album?

    recording sessions for 'music for a forgotten future (the singing mountain)' preceded the album - stuart and barry were in the studio recordings strings with paul leonard morgan on 28th april 2010.

    recording sessions for mogwai's seventh studio album commenced at chem19 studios in blantyre (near glasgow) on monday 2nd august, with paul savage at the controls. recording finished on wednesday 1st september 2010. the album was be mixed at castle of doom in october. apparently 10 weeks of studio time were booked in total.

    luke sutherland joined mogwai at chem19 studios on 19th august, to record violin parts for the new mogwai album. mogwai were back at chem19 on 30th september, recording strings with paul leonard morgan.

    the album was mastered by greg calbi in new york on 18th october 2010. calbi has previously mastered 'mr beast', 'zidane' and 'rock action'.

    photos: mogwai's facebook photo album

    stuart (2nd august):

    end of the 1st day back in the studio with paul savage since mixing mogwai young team. very happy.

    mogwaiband (3rd august):
    we recorded 3 songs today. never been done before and probably never will again.

    dominic (3rd august):
    drums, bass and guitar for the first tune are now done. moving on to john's now obligatory face melter. working title "batman"

    martin (6th august):
    first studio injury! pulled muscle in my arm. should be fine by monday. rest of friday off, hmmmmm..... what to do? i think i'll have a beer

    stuart (6th august):
    "speed, weed and meade" has just been mooted as a possible album title.

    stuart (12th august):
    barry should write a book on inappropriate studio behaviour

    stuart (13th august):
    massive pile of pedals from dunlop/mxr/way huge arrived today. i fucking love my job. i got a mxr flanger, phaser, tremelo and a fuzzface.

    dominic (16th august):
    martin has just finished doing all his drums for the record. lucky bastard.

    dominic (23rd august):
    fucking yes!! i have finished recording all my parts for the record. so i'm off home to have a celebratory whiskey and play battlefield bc2.

    stuart on

    "we've done like eight songs, but we're starting with the drums and the bass and stuff, so i haven't done that much," admits braithwaite, who'd been outside playing badminton with cummings before talking to, while their other bandmates worked inside the studio. "but i'm really happy with how it's sounding." "i know some of the songs are faster than they were before, but we've got 21 songs so maybe we'll lose one and we'll add one of the slow ones," he says of the music. "it's hard to tell." [Nov 2010]

    thirty century man

    mogwai's own remix of 'how to be a werewolf' features in antony crook's short film 'thirty century man, about round-the-world cyclist james bowthorpe.

    you're lionel richie

    from stefano fasti

    i translated the italian dialogue for you.

    00:30 - a few words not in italian and really not understandable...

    00:46 - "disse che l'aveva trovato: voleva uccidere il lupo. ma il lupo non morì mai. doveva mordersi nella sua pelle. perché stava pensando, disse la foresta, stava pensando un modo per farlo guarire quel povero leone"

    in english:
    "he(/she) said that he(/she) found him: he(/she) wanted to kill the wolf. but the wolf never died. he (the wolf) should bite his own skin... because he(/she) was thinking about, said the forest, he(/she) was thinking about a way to make him heal, that poor lion"

    it seems clear to me that the speaker is surely not italian, maybe french? but i can't be sure of his nationality. it's a very cryptic short tale and i haven't managed to find its author yet. i don't know if these are only excerpts from a longer story. the passage from the wolf to the lion is very strange and i can't understand the change of subject. yes, very cryptic. even if i am absolutely sure of the words spoken in italian.

    thanks stefano. tells us that it's dr. kiko's voice, legendary atp dj, friend of the band. he wrote it when he was a child. thanks fizzy.

    from dr. kiko (april 2021):

    I am the author of the lyrics.
    Here the truth: Barry called me on Skype. I thought he needed someone to check his Skype account so he asked me to say something in Italian but to (try) to speak clearly. I just woke up, and I didn't knew what to say. I had near me a note book from my primary school when i was 8 or 9 years old. So I opened it and I started to read randomly some words were on my note book. Without any sense. I would have never imagined it would have ended up on the record. Btw, I am the best "singer" Mogwai have ever had. Iggy Pop? Roky Erikson? Gruff Rhys? Aidan? pffff.... I am number one! Of course just kidding. I hope you enjoyed Mogwai at #1 in UK. They deserved it. It was like your underdog small football team wins the Champions League. Even more than Leicester winning Premier League or Nottingham Forest winning Champions League. Love to all the mogwai fans.
    Dr Kiko

    t-shirts from tokyo show, 2nd feb 2011

    press release (27th october 2010)

    mogwai announce new album
    ‘hardcore will never die, but you will’
    label: rock action records
    release date: 14th february 2011 (15th february 2011 us release)

    mogwai are set to push the boundaries of where art meets rock even further into the abyss with the announcement that their new album, ‘hardcore will never die, but you will’ will be released on 14th february 2011 on the band’s very own rock action records.

    ‘hardcore will never die, but you will’, the band’s seventh album, was recorded over the summer at chem 19 studios, in hamilton and mixed at the castle of doom. ‘hardcore’ is produced by mogwai confidante paul savage (the man behind mogwai’s exceptional 1997 ‘mogwai young team’ album) and is the logical follow up to the band’s 2008’s magnum opus ‘the hawk is howling’ and showcases mogwai’s relentless devotion to duty and refusal to compromise sonically with it’s sheer brutally and distinctive subtle beauty.

    the album will be released on february 15 2011 in the us where mogwai have recently signed to the illustrious sub pop label for north america.

    there will also be a limited edition version of the album, which includes a bonus cd featuring a 26 minute long piece called ‘the singing mountain’ recorded for douglas gordon and olaf nicolai’s ‘monument for forgotten future’ installation in essen, germany.

    mexican edition

    mexican edition
    label: arts & crafts mexico [A&CMX031]
    bonus track - 'slight domestic'

    poster given away with insound vinyl pre-order

    earplus given away with sub pop pre-order

    thanks steve

    review links

    consequenceofsound | stereoboard | soundblab | rik rawling | antiquiet | the skinny
    spin | blast magazine | craveonline | music omh | godisinthetvzine | rolling stone
    glide magazine | theowlmag | cavacool | inyourspeakers | cm-life | sputnikmusic | thisisfakediy | chromewaves | irish times | the guardian | drowned in sound
    gigwise | the quietus | the scotsman | crawdaddy | los angeles times |
    echoes and dust | indieethos | nme | pitchfork | maine campus | is this music?
    daily cardinal | austin town hall | tiny mix tapes | muso's guide | highlander
    addict music | jambands | billboard

    review from the list, 26th jan 2011

    now on their seventh album, mogwai could be forgiven for taking their feet off the pedal. they haven’t. but there is a feeling on hardcore …, despite the occasional foray into the monolithic riffage of their early days, that the band are now more comfortable delving further into soundtrack territory, tracks like opener ‘white noise’ and ‘death rays’ being consummate canvases of poignancy, melancholy and a strangely futuristic-retro nostalgia. for old-school fans there are still gargantuan slabs of heaviosity such as closer ‘you’re lionel richie’ but overall this is the sound of a band expanding their palette and looking to the future. [doug johnstone]

    review from norman records, 11th feb 2011

    now described as veterans, mogwai were the king pins of the once-sprawling post-rock scene and now one of the few survivors mainly thanks to their superb life affirming live shows and consistent recording history. to some ears they have been smooth sailing for a number of years now so what will a new album bring? the opener, the misleadingly titled 'white noise' is 'classic' mogwai if such a thing exists. containing a melodic ascending chord structure with a neat melancholic instrumental tune, a 'tracy' for the 21st century. i'm not as convinced by the single, the neu-ish 'mexican grand prix', in which i'm struggling to find a tune. 'rano pano' again has the wandering circling melodies they excel at, the production is odd though. everything is heavily effected, cluttered and digitized so that the overall sound is akin to mogwai being caught in a wind tunnel. though i'm not overall happy with the production, tracks like 'death rays' show they really haven't lost their knack of producing interesting, engaging instrumentals despite the fact that they appear to be relying more on keyboards and effects these days. overall the album neither treads water, nor attempts to re-invent the wheel which is probably a good place for these hardy glaswegians to be in. this will certainly keep long term fans happy whilst hopefully it sounds interesting enough to newcomers as the tunes are rather immediate and neatly showcase what mogwai are all about.

    review from aquarius records, 11th feb 2011

    we all love mogwai. ever since their 1997 debut young team, which still pretty much is the standard for brooding, slow building quiet/loud/quiet/loud post rock, and sure, none of their records since have been as good as young team, but the thing is, they've all been pretty damn good, some of them great. many of them deceivingly good, only to gradually blossom into greatness on repeated listens, which we're beginning to think is the case with this, their latest, and easily their best titled. in fact, we might posit that the new mogwai has one of the best titles of any record, ever!

    c'mon. it's called: hardcore will never die. but you will. kind of surprised some other band (a hardcore band?) hadn't thought of that already, but then somehow it seems more fitting on a band, that's not really at all hardcore. and mogwai have always had a knack for song titles, which comes in handy when you're essentially an instrumental band, and song titles are thus removed from any sort of lyrical constraints or parameters.

    needless to say, fans of mogwai are gonna dig this too, unless you absolutely hated the last few, in which case, give the sound samples a go, and see what you think. but was far as we're concerned, this is another winner, from a group, who essentially created a genre, and even with a legion of imitators, have virtually no equal.

    the cool thing is that mogwai no longer feel wedded to the whole slow build quiet/loud thing, sure they indulge once in a while, and yeah, they still do it better than most, and if you see them live, these guys can get as loud as any band, but here, they're more about creating gorgeous chunks of indie rock. and on hardcore, the sound is as varied as ever. opener "white noise" is gorgeous, thick with whirring keyboards, and some strange guitar crunch, laced over their meandery post rock, super melodic and sun dappled and really, great. winding down after only 5 minutes, we really wish it would have gone on for twice as long at least.

    "mexican grand prix" is a big surprise, sounding more like neu! than mogwai, with a clipped electronic pulse, electronic drums, warm wheezing organs, and vocals! whispery and a little distorted, there are some computer voices too, and the drums get all stuttery, it sort of sounds like a darker, heavier stereolab, but still manages to sound like mogwai.

    much of the rest of the record is just super hooky, fantastically melodic, crunch guitar driven post rock, sounding like mogwai for sure, but minus the super stripped down verses and explosive choruses, then there are tracks like "letters to the metro" which are all hazy and dreamy, with gorgeous slide guitars, simple stripped down drumming, and prominent piano.

    "how to be a werewolf" might be the first track to really slip back into the old mogwai template, but even then, it still sounds great, and original, the guitars are weirdly distorted, wrapped in effects, all draped over some strange bit of distant percussion, while the rest of the track offers up spidery melodies, simple propulsive drumming, and yeah, an eventual guitar heavy coda. "too raging to cheers" does the same, starting off with some minimal piano, letting guitars surface, and grow gradually more distorted, same with the drums, there are even some strings, it's very moody and melancholy, and does explode into a very epic majestic godspeed like climax.

    finally, the record closes with the awesomely titled "you're lionel richie", which is definitely an extended and abstracted version of the mogwai formula, the sound minimal and shuffling, dark and brooding, eventually slipping into near silence, just some little tendrils of barely there guitar, only to come back in all distorted and buzzy, loping, and midtempo, eventually blossoming into something that sounds almost orchestral, soaring and wailing and seriously sonically transcendent, proving effortlessly, that mogwai don't need to sound like the mogwai of old, but can whenever they want to, and when they do, it will still totally and completely kill.

    while they last, we have the deluxe double disc version of the cd, which includes a 23 minute bonus track called "music for a forgotten future (the singing mountain)", and don't fret vinyl folks, the lp includes a download card which also includes that bonus track, even though it's not on the lp.

    review scans

    q magazine - feb 2011 (thanks iain)

    mojo magazine - feb 2011 (click for full-size image)(thanks iain)

    financial times - 12th feb 2011 (thanks iain)