this came here via arab strap, for me the obvious way; especially with aidan moffat guest vocalising on this album before he and malcolm made elephant shoe. but it was more. mogwai never made it further for me.
they’ve always been somewhere in the back of my mind. but at the time i was discovering them, i had all the amazingness of a band like dirty three crossed with the inevitable parochialism yet globalism that such a band offered.
of course, even knowing what might happen, i had to turn it up at the start to just hear what was going on. can’t write about something that’s ostensibly not there. and there it goes, a rent in the time-space continuum; thrown asunder. the noise.
it’s far from bad or indifferent, but i can’t put my finger on what it is. i mean, there’s a lot of similarity to a band like godspeed. but i’m struggling to find the peak hooks and actual memorability.
don’t get me wrong though, there are some very strong moments here, on what was their debut album. tracy is the best without ever really arriving at a place. the place is somewhere about two minutes into piano-opened with portfolio, which is most unbelievable when listened to with many surrounding speakers, then ends abruptly. it’s followed with simple lone guitar and aidan finally appearing in something more like his own band’s fare.
perhaps that’s where the link to slint is so often evoked/incarnated. it was a bizarre time, over six years later, for a scottish band to arrive at such a point and have it mean anything, let alone what it clearly did to a lot of people across the globe. i guess it was a sociology of what was in the anglo music sphere at that time. it was genuinely alternative, even to what was deemed alternative then. it stepped back from buying into any of the preoccupied british scene. it looked beyond its shores.
for that, i cannot blame them for not being closer to me.