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Young Team

Young Team

25 Nov 1997
4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 29 Mar. 2002
Format: Audio CD
Some five years after the issue of this, Mogwai's debut album, and the Glaswegian five-piece have long established themselves as arguably Britain's most popular left-field rock band. Perhaps, then, it's time to reappraise the record which the band themselves retrospectively described as 'rushed', but which received universally ecstatic reviews on release.
In the end, though, reappraisal is unnecessary, for 'Young Team' was and remains a spectacular, incandescent rock record. There aren't many bands in Britain who are capable of both the shuddering death-metal of 'Like Herod''s loud bits and the poignant, crushing 'Tracy'. Compared with second album 'Come On Die Young' it sometimes seems a little under-realised - perhaps a result of the aforementioned rushing - but as 'Mogwai Fear Satan' envelops your stereo for fifteen utterly compelling minutes, it doesn't really matter.
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Format: Audio CD
You may have heard a little about them in the music press, their tiffs with most of the recording artists in the world today, their reluctance to sell out (who can blame them?) and general praise stacked upon the sounds they create. Currently they are making quiet things, before though, there was a lot of loud thrown in aswell. Anyway, the record opens with a girl failing indescribably to put words to how relentlessly beautiful this music really is. She stutters and stumbles, the scripted words too much for her, and it sums this record up perfectly. You will, I guarantee jump in fright at 'Like herod' when the riffs kick in again, you will well up to the beauty of 'Tracy' and you will suddenly find yourself very alone if you play 'with portfolio' in the company of others. As track 9 shuffles away the chords to 'Mogwai fear satan' start to trickle through, words start to fail you, it is 16 minutes of listening to an immense storm, the noise of the earth as it shows us just how powerful physics can be. If we were to have a musical definition of the word 'music' then this really should be it. So simple yet so powerful, only the euphoric rush of 'helicon 1' can come close to it. If that was on this record then we might aswell have given in and stopped writing music, it isn't so we try to keep up. Beautiful life affirming music that really deserves the credit it gets, there is no other way of describing it.
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Format: Audio CD
Mogwai are masters of understated noise, beautiful noise. One of just a few bands that can blend delicate instrumentation and sporadic vocals with an unadulterated guitar cacophony and not have the listener reaching for the off button before the end of track 2.

To all intents and purposes, this is an instrumental album. The human voice, where it makes an appearance, is often spoken word and hidden so far down in the mix it is impossible to understand (and not just because of the Scottish accents). If nothing more, it serves as proof to the doubting listener that humans were indeed present during the recording of this album. And here is a health warning for you: just as you should never return to a lighted firework, so should you never assume a Mogwai track has petered out to a slow rumble with a soft hi-hat accompaniment: you are likely to get your face blown off, or at least lose an ear.

“Yes! I am a long way from home” is the perfect start, as Mogwai ease the listener into their sound world, giving just a glimpse of what is coming, trying hard not to scare them off too soon. “Like Herod”, the first of many highlights, has a barely concealed aggression, like a tiger pounding its cage – just when you think it has fallen asleep, it pounces. Yes! it is a barrage of drums and guitars, but so much more than just that.

On to the rest of the highlights: “Tracy” is almost a lullaby, not going anyway but maybe that’s just because it’s already there; “Summer”, if my memory can be relied upon, was something of a hit back in 1997 when the album was first released, and remains a highlight with its alternating soft/loud-ness which could be clichéd but isn’t; and “With Portfolio” offers another treat for the ears – were they testing a jet engine in the studio?
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Format: Audio CD
This is simply an awesome album. Words fail to do it justice but i am compelled to offer up a few, because it is so worthy of respect. Personally, this is my favourite Mogwai album, although i am a fan of all their albums, i don't think they have done better, before or since. The slow build-up of intensity in certain songs is incredible. The songs range from pieces of joyuous, sublime chilled out beauty to towering walls of sheer aggressive noise, often within the same song. I think 'Yes! I am a long way from home' would take some beating as an opening track. Best heard in the dark through headphones, when i listen to it this way i feel i could hear it again and again and it not lose any of its power and beauty. The same goes for 'Tracy'. These are two of the first Mogwai songs i heard and they still have the same effect on me 10 years later. The portions of phone conversation on both tracks merely adds to the atmosphere. The only negative thing i can say about the album is i feel the unlistenable noise which ends 'With Portfolio' is utterly pointless. Why not just leave it as a short piano interlude like 'Radar Maker' or 'A cheery wave from stranded youngsters'?? Anyway, after the said meaningless racket, comes a phenomenal trio of songs, the gorgeous 'R u still in 2 it', then 'cheery wave', segueing seamlessly into the stunning 'Mogwai Fear Satan'. To sum up, this is an incredible album bookended by two songs of immense beauty and power, and inbetween, a feritable feast of musical alchemy. Almost too good to be true
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