Mogwai - Special Moves

Craig Broad 30/07/2010

Rating: 4/5

'Special Moves', the first official live release by instrumental or dare we say it post-rock band Mogwai is also twinned with 'Burning', a live DVD, both of which were recorded during a three night residency at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg in 2009.

'Special Moves' starts off with the gloriously beautiful "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead", the lead track from 2008's 'The Hawk Is Howling', lushously moving with a bright piano underpinning overwhelming guitar distortion as the bass thunders along with the steady drum beat until the track completely sonically explodes. You start to get a feel for the live environment that Mogwai are playing in by track three, "Hunted By A Freak", a slow burning track from their stand-out album 'Mr Beast', that is heavily applauded by the fans there. "Mogwai Fear Satan" is perhaps the most spine chilling song to be found here, strangely as it is one of their older materials, it just showcases both just how long Mogwai have been together and also how emotively inspiring they can be. Starting with droning feedback it gradually builds up before exploding into a complete frenzy, with the drumming a real stand point. The best bit however, comes mid-way through the track, just when you think everything is coming to an end as everything cuts away and the delay of the guitar slowly careers off to a path that nears silence, it suddenly re-explodes, shocking the listener back into life with this complete ear destroying beauty. "Glasgow Megasnake" is perhaps the best way that any instrumental gig can be finished. After the meandering beauty of other tracks, it sees Mogwai at their most aggressive, firing into guitar riff after guitar riff, rarely slowing the pace and really showing their versatility.

The DVD 'Burning' is the perfect equivalent to the CD, containing many of the tracks found on the CD and more so, the highlight being the stand-out track from 'The Hawk Is Howling', "Batcat" which really does contain one of the most memorable guitar riffs from the last few years. Different from usual DVD accompaniments, it feels more movie like than usual music DVDs and is definitely worth looking at from a fan perspective.

For fans of Mogwai, big fans, this release will be a huge relief as we all have to wait a long time to get our Mogwai fills and this will at least tide us over for a portion of time. That is all this release is though, it will not win them any new fans despite how brilliant it sounds.

Mogwai Official Website