Mogwai: Kin review – Rousing, visceral piece for the big screen

Fri, Aug 31, 2018, 04:00

   
 

Album:
KIN: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Artist:
Mogwai

Label:
Rock Action

Genre:
Soundtrack

Ah Mogwai, the only post-rock band I’ll go to the mattresses for. The genre primarily focuses on instrumental tones and textures rather than song structure and melodies, and from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, the Scots produced some of the most vital post-rock on the planet. Though they’ve continued to record albums every few years, Mogwai have spent much of the last decade cashing cheques from soundtrack work.

Kin had not been released at time of writing but the big screen sci-fi appears to be their most ambitious film project yet – a kinetic, visceral piece that requires an ambitious set of sounds.

The record starts strongly. On the rousing, piano-led opener Eli’s Theme, Mogwai prove they’re still masters at writing simple yet stirring chord progressions, while the understated keys and electronic flourishes of Scrap showcases the band’s sonic elegance. Though most of the music is in the Mogwai mould, the soundtrack never lets you forget it’s just that – a soundtrack. So the glitching, restless Flee obviously scores an escape sequence.

Minimalist tracks like Miscreants are pretty but seem designed to not overwhelm the movie’s visuals. In these moments, we’re reminded that the band are here to do a job – they’re just one cog in a broader artistic process. But even working within these margins, Kin features some pretty great Mogwai music.