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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Come On, Die Young
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£10.10+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 11 April 2001
Mogwai came along at a time in my life that was perfectly pitched to warmly recieve their outpouring of melancholy power. This album is recommended to those who have had enough of the shallow and incomprehensible shock-tactics of new-generation metal and rock acts. Mogwai combine everything we love about the rock scene - the anger, energy, the roomshaking guitar riffs - with everything that is great about music - the raw emotion, the melancholy nostalgia, the moments of clarity that make music human. Each track tells a story that is unique to you yet universal in theme - all without words. Incidentally, if you really want to feel Mogwai's ability to shake your bones and bring a tear to your eye, catch them live on one of their rare tours. Be prepared to stand still for two hours but feel like you have travelled across the Universe - they are that awesome. When I saw them, the last twenty minutes was a wall of white noise and light that just transported me...
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on 10 April 2000
Having just returned from the Mogwai-curated All Tomorrow's Parties Festival in Camber Sands I can testify to Mogwai's greatness. Drawing on the influences of post-rock pioneers Slint and Tortoise and incorporating the attitude of "Funhouse"-era Stooges, they manage to surpass these gargantuan starting-points, creating an album drenched in passion and beauty. CODY sees Mogwai reaching new heights, building on the quiet-loud Pixies-influenced Young Team and No Education = No Future (Fuck the Curfew) EP - both of which are highly recommended. Kicking off with the low-key melancholy of "punk rock:" which features delicate guitars over a recording of an Iggy Pop interview,it is clear that Barry Burns' addition has added a whole new dimension to their sound. Although Mogwai traditionally eschew singing, "cody"'s fragile and emotional outpouring fits perfectly with the swaying steel guitars to conjure emotions and memories you never felt music could inspire. "Helps both ways" features the repeated beauty of a guitar refrain augmented with brass over a commentary of an American football game. "year 2000 non-compliant cardia" sees the sound swell with feedback before returning to a melodic lull, a process that continues with "kappa." "oh! how the dogs stack up", one of the best (if shortest) cuts on the album, is heralded with disembowled reberbing voices and a piano refrain with strange background noise and I challenge anyone not to sway their head in time with "ex-cowboy." The album's zenith is the live favourite "christmas steps," originally featured on the Fuck the Curfew EP, which demonstrates Mogwai's pure power - words cannot do it justice, and "punk rock/puff daddy,ANTICHRIST" finishes CODY with a haunting note. Overall, the album is one of extreme beauty and, paradoxically, delicate-power. I recommend this record to any true music-lover, but for the true experience see them live. Mogwai are proof of the addage good thing come to those who wait, and your patience will be rewarded by layers of ethereal sound and furious noise. I also recommend 'EP' and the material they are currently working on (which I've heard live).
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on 21 November 1999
After 'Young Team', a superb album in its own right, Mogwai have again produced a deep mix of atmospherically brilliant music. One of the best albums I have bought, every song on 'Come on Die Young' is beautifully mixed and builds up from simple but exceptionally melodic guitar riffs to powerful distortion driven riffs, with some excellent drumming. 'Cody', 'Helps Both Ways' and 'Christmas Steps' are particularly worthy of note. You can't help but feel in a different world when you listen!
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on 15 March 2001
I took a risk on this and bought it on the day it was released, without having heard a track and only reading a piddly little review and its probably a good job i did cause this is definately an album. Threre arent any singles here begging for radio air play. I can honestly say that i had never heard anything like Mogwai but this is truelly breathtaking music, the kind of music a hundred bands would kill to make. They kind of come on like a dark Sonic youth or early Smashing Pumpkins only without the vocals. It is desite this strangly melodic with songs awash with hooks and net loike riffs that catch you and drag you along for the ride. A few of the songs feature samples e.g punk rock features an interview with Iggy Pop but only one feature vocals, this if any thing adds to the ambiance of CODY. Their mucic follows a definate pattern, slow-buildup-heavy-slow quiet but it never desends into repetitiveness, yeah sure some of thesongs blend into each other but you get the feeling they're supposed to. I havent regretted buying this for a moment so do like i did and take the risk you wont regret it.
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on 20 July 2004
Having seen Mogwai live (a great experience) I came searching Amazon for the best thing to buy. This was recommended. I spent 3 months listening trying to work out why I had liked them live as this was (mostly) very boring.
In desperation, I switched to their new album "Happy Songs..." and within days was captivated. Since then I have seen them live again and purchased "Young Team" - which is also excellent.
Barring "Xmas Steps" there's little here to delay you and it certainly pales in comparison with the likes of Explosions in the Sky.
If you like your post rock with a raw edge go to "Young Team", if with hypnotic layered tunes - then try "Happy Songs.." - but give this a miss.
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on 2 November 1999
This starts out with Iggy Pop being interviewed about how great punk rock is - there follows an album of un-punkish sounding music. Instead we get Weird sounds, echoing guitars, whispered vocals, and generally a very laid back album. Brilliant for relaxing to, also for driving - you can't get road rage listening to this. Recommended.
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on 11 March 2006
If Young Team gained an appeal through the shoegazer-style washes of ‘Tracy’, and its digital tide of effects pedals that layered the endless ’Mogwai Fear Satan’, ‘Come On Die Young’ shows the band wanting to simply plug in and play. Opener ‘Punk Rock’ features untreated clean guitars chiming in minor-key over a speech by Iggy Pop. The band’s trademark plaintive emotion, often covered below layers of feedback and delay on the previous album, is here bravely on show: ‘the brilliant music of a genius, myself’ Iggy Pop declares; you sense Mogwai would say the same themselves; if their music did not already do that for them.
‘Cody’ is a rare vocal track that sounds like a country lament from a ghost town, straight after the gold rush. Indeed, the sharply picked minor-key guitars could easily be Neil Young on Zuma: just darker. In the background a tasteful pedal-steel howls mournfully, as Stuart Braithwaite’s vocal sounds like all of Glasgow propping up the bar, and the soft, lugubrious music emphasises an overall half-drunken, half-romantic stupor.
If ‘cody’ is a bar-room howl, then ‘Helps Both Ways’ is the loner sloping home to his empty house and falling on the couch in front of the telly; almost literally, as an American football game plays in the background for the entire song. Again there is a clean guitar, but this time a nicely muted horn section plays over the top to the pace of a fugue. The song is strangely entrancing, a fine demonstration of how classical instruments are used in post-rock as not just to fill in the gaps, but to add something to the music.
‘Year 2000’ and ‘Kappa’ propound the sparse, ennui-rock further, the first with layers of metallic sounding guitars and samples, the second with a definite Slint-feel that is slightly atonal. The songs feel like a pair, but also as more an exercise in sound and unfettered production than anything else. The atmosphere of locale created by the previous tracks is in this way slightly compromised, but not totally.
‘Waltz for Aidan’ returns us to this drunken, woozy feel; and it’s sumptuous, aching melody, that finally melts into long country lanes of delay is one of the most beautiful moments on the album. The song is overdosed on wistful melancholy, and leads into the rather tenderly titled ‘may nothing but happiness come through your door’: the poignancy evident in the title is played out by a solitary guitar, that builds in volume as a clattering drum beat turns it to an impassioned shout: the rage finally collapses into a pool of soft keys, as a phone message plays pathetically in the background. At these junctures, we get this sense of a narrative running through this album, perhaps a person who has lost everything, and that this is a journey through his solipsism: the barren nature of the production enforces this brilliantly.
After the distorted piano interlude of ‘Oh! How the Dogs Stack Up’, the album enters into its tour de force: a triptych of lengthy songs - ‘Ex-Cowboy’, ‘Chocky’ and ‘Christmas Steps’ that each demonstrate Mogwai’s outreaching talent. In the first, a loose bass groove uncovers swathes of sound, from the beginning violins to towering guitars that finally rage to the surface, coating the soundscape in nightmarish entrancing squalls of feedback: the result is paralysingly beautiful, like staring over a precipice. The following number ‘chocky’ demonstrates the band’s sincerity of feeling as a plaintive piano melody unfolds alongside ascending guitars, the song drifts on like a journey through the hills, before foundering in a fog of static. ‘Christmas Steps’ is far better than it’s E.P. counterpart, sounding better with the lighter, less prominent guitars; it feels like someone picking their way through a snowbound landscape.
The closer is slightly disappointing, but this is a great album, an important album. I can’t understand why people see ‘Young Team’ as the flagship album: for me it is ‘Come On Die Young’ - the band took a brave risk with eschewing their early stomp box fascination, and this album demonstrates that they could make the most battered sounding guitar cry.
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on 1 March 2000
If the geetar is the medium of avant-garde musical expression then muso historians would probably place the death knell of axe modernism circa late 60s early 70s.Thereafter plectrum strummers the world over are merely retreading the same old chords. Mogwai would suggest this is not so. Spartan use of cymbals,samples(The Igster on Punk Rock but also sinister loops/layers of fedback dialogue throughout) and more prominently piano pieces are but are backlog to alternate bass and lead guitar moments of quiet reflection followed by earsplitting,bowel loosening sound.Er almost literally. The reviewer came away with tinnitus and a spot of un-beer related nausea from his Mogwai live encounter. The innovation of Come On Die Young is that apart from Cody, the only track with lyrics,you have a set of pieces with no real start or finish ;essentially cadences of sound ,that on first hearing sound samey but given three or so spins rawk with individual charm.Chocky (10, if this was serialised like the aural abstract expressionism it is) lulls you with classical piano strains and slays you with white noise.The finale (Punk rock/puff daddy/antichrist ...could have been marmite spangles!)features pretty much the same (-lack of conventional) structure but eerily evokes a particularly bleak 50s British kitchen sink drama doc soundtrack.Choose your own images listener as product placement titles such as Kappa offer little guidance. Mogwai then:one trick ponies,possibly, in the same good kinda way that Portishead are one trick ponies.
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on 14 July 2000
This album is just pure brilliance. Most groups or bands today sing and play the odd instrument. I say how can you call them a band? Mogwai play all there own instruments and write there own lyrics, this album is excellent and is my favourite out of the whole lot of them. I would recommend this album to anyone. As long as they are into this type of music.
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on 30 May 2003
It's difficult to know where to start when describing such music as this. It's difficult to do with an aural vocabulary. I'm tempted to start getting poetic and metaphorical. It's watching the sky on a clear night out in the country. It's the sea washing through you. It's being sucked in to a black hole. This stuff is damn well SPIRITUAL, man!
Drawn out, mesmerising contemplative moments contrast with intense bursts of power. Tension and release are integral elements of this album. Tension is built up in various ways such as ingenious harmonic progressions using increasingly dischordal harmony (such as in Year 2000 Non-Compliant Cardia), and general, gradual build up of sounds and volume which erupt in to a barrage of noise (such as on the utterly brilliant Ex-Cowboy).
This album is slower, quieter, more held back than Young Team. Whereas Young Team rocks out with the loud intense bits right from the start, Come on Die Young builds up gradually over it's 68 minutes. It starts peacefully with Punk Rock - a relatively short piece. This is also a pretty unremarkable introduction as far as I'm concerned. It doesn't take long for Mogwai to hit their stride; CODY is wonderful. This features the only example of singing on the album, with Stuart Braithwait harmonising beautifully with himself thanks to the wonders of multi-track recording. This is sad. It's mournful, ghostly singing over equally emotive guitar. Year 2000... is a small taste of what is to come at the climax of the album. Kappa and Waltz for Aidan are a short, peaceful lull before the build up begins with May Nothing But Happiness Come Through Your Door and Oh! How the Dogs Stack Up, the latter ending with the Mogwai brand of white noise which links in to Ex-Cowboy: the beginning of the afore mentioned climax, and definately the greatest piece of music that Mogwai have ever produced. I really, REALLY like this piece!! It's the basic quiet, simple start, built gradually up to something immense which Mogwai do oh so well. But it's better than the rest. It's ripe, it's perfectly proportioned, the mixing is spot on. It's like a drug, it's mind altering. It makes an otherwise reasonable, laid back person like me want to destroy everything. It's something else. It's the first time that the beast is properly let loose on the album, and it roars and snarls; bites and scratches for the next half an hour or so over Ex-Cowboy, Christmas Steps and Chocky. Along with CODY these are the stand out tracks on the album, and they are brilliant. Christmas Steps builds slowly in a similar way as Ex-Cowboy to a short, sharp burst of terrifying energy before slowly withering away with a quiet, reverb drenched violin for company. Chocky begins with an awful sounding honky-tonk piano over a layer of fuzz. Gradually the fuzz takes over and carries through to the main body of the piece which contains the piano along with the guitars, etc. The music builds in layers, becoming more and more intense until the music gets too taut and snaps, leaving just the piano and the fuzz again. The album ends with a short come-down piece which features a lovely trombone (I think part).
May Nothing... is the only real weakish spot for me. It just goes on too long.
Although I think that Come on Die Young is Mogwai's finest album to date, it probably isn't a good place for Mogwai newies to begin. For a first taste go to Young Team. Once you've done this and discovered how incredibly fantastic it is, move on to Come on Die Young and adore it for ever an'ever an'ever.
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