Mogwai

EP

(CD - Chemikal Underground #CHEM 056CD)

Review by

Like Ten Rapid but with a more awkward name, Mogwai [EP+6] collects some of the experimental rock titans' singles and EPs with such a natural feel that it almost seems like it was designed as an album. In this case, 1997's 4 Satin EP is joined with 1999's self-titled EP and "Xmas Steps," the single version of Come on Die Young's track. The 13-and-a-half-minute "Stereodee" is just as compelling an epic as any of the tracks that wound up on either of those albums, showcasing the band's masterful way with ebbing, flowing, letting a song explode, and pulling it back together again. "Xmas Steps" -- which is a minute longer than the album version of the song -- also shows how expertly Mogwai can play with time and dynamics as they scale a mountain of sound that turns out to be a volcano when they get to the top. This pair of tracks makes up the heart of Mogwai [EP+6], but "Stanley Kubrick"'s limpid pedal steel and "Burn Girl Prom Queen" round out its melancholy soul. These tracks surrounding the Young Team/Come on Die Young era show that Mogwai distribute their wealth pretty equally among their long and short-form releases, and make this collection necessary for any fan who doesn't own these songs already.