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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Rock Action
Format: MP3 Download|Change

on 24 April 2010
This is probably one of Mogwai's more accessible albums, as it's less noisy and heavy than their previous albums. Released in 2001, it begins with the slightly scratchy Sine Wave before going into the epic Take Me Somewhere Nice. This song incorporates keyboards into Mogwai's bass-heavy sound. It features vocals by David Pajo (Slint/Papa M) which work well with some beautiful music played by Stuart Braithwaite and co. I can almost feel the snow fall.

After the short interlude, O I Sleep we get another brooding song, Dial: Revenge which hangs on a simple sounding acoustic guitar figure before the keyboards come in. It features vocals sung in Welsh by Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals. You Don't Know Jesus runs to 8 minutes and is more abrasive sounding. The band, who are pretty restrained elsewhere on this album, let loose with heavy guitars and crashing cymbals. Two Rights Make One Wrong is the longest song here at nine and a half minutes, starting out with jangly guitar but building up with guitars, strident drums, keyboards, electronics, wordless vocals before finishing off with banjo. It shouldn't work but surprisingly it does. The final track Secret Pint is a little anti-climactic, a sparser, piano-led track with more gentle vocals.

A good entry point for checking out this band's guitar-effect heavy post-rock.
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on 20 July 2001
The first song on "rock action" sets the mood for the rest of the album. "Take me somewhere nice", the second song, is a song which takes you on an emotional ride, as all the songs do. This album is probably more vocal than all the previous albums and singles, but the way the vocals are inserted is sublime. The voice is an instrument, accompanying the songs instead of dominating them. "Dial ; revenge" is probably the best example of this. The language used is unknown to me, maybe Scottisch. But it is as all the other songs, sublime. The song "Robot chant" is probably the most reminicent to the older work of Mogwai, a strange noise scape of a few seconds. "2 rights make 1 wrong" is a happy song, something unusual, surprising, but very good. The last song "secret pint" is the perfect closing song of an album which will be hard to follow up, but knowing Mogwai they will probably have no problems with this. One point of advice : go see them live. The live versions of the songs are completely different, louder, ... probably one of the best live bands in the world.
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on 15 October 2003
This is a really melodic and, at times, spine tingling album. The added instrument of the voice makes it sound like poetry written to music. Although it's not all fantastic, it seems to fade away after 5 songs (personally), but the first half of the CD is a gem. The gentle melodies makes you want to drift off to sleep, especially in 'Take Me Somewhere Nice', where the track would sound bare without the quiet voice. 'Dial:Revenge'(by the way Dial means revenge in welsh, it's not Dial in the english phone meaning - sorry if it's obvious to most of you) is another great track with the guitar playing a steady, yet strangely dark song. A great album
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on 29 November 2001
it's not too short, as some people have complained, in my opinion CODY was too long. rock action is a lot easier to listen to than their previous two albums, with gentle folk songs and (shock! horror!) singing. the only track which recalls mogwai's traditional instrumental bluster is "you don't know jesus", although even this song is more accessible than the meandering guitars on CODY. the message is simple: if you didn't like their first two albums you might like this one, if you liked their first two albums you will like this one as well, if only for the mighty "2 rights don;t make 1 wrong"
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on 23 December 2016
Well, I have just come back to this album after a 15 year absence. Simply beautiful. Possibly evoking the past for me due to time away from this album, but i really believe it is a wonderful mix of gentle, rounded, full and complete music that is worth every ear.
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on 5 April 2001
Having listened this I was a little dissapointed by this. Having first seen them at Glastonbury a couple of years ago and being really impressed by the beauty of their music and the variation between subtely(??)and power I bought Come on Die Young and wasn't dissapointed. This time round they seem to have left off all the power. The beauty is still there but it's all a bit samey. There's nothing with any ummph. Also at 30 something minutes it makes a good EP, but not a great album.
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on 9 May 2016
Heard one track of theirs on a Sunday morning radio show so took a punt thanks to that radio show they are very good and this is a good album to get into them
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on 13 July 2004
A change of pace from the earlier post-rock Mogwai sound of Young Team and Come On - Die Young; Rock Action finds the Glaswegian noisemakers tuning down the amplifiers, stripping away the feedback and generally putting more emphasis on tight instrumental structures, immediate melodies and even the incorporation of vocals. The band is still able to create those wondrous eerie textures, with that sound of fragmenting detachment always present beneath the slew of instrumentation. However, the effect here is less immediate, with the album provoking a leisurely, creeping, though ultimately emotional and nostalgic feeling through these evocative passages of sound... which entrap the listener like nothing else imaginable.
The emphasis here on ballads remains a welcome change of tempo for the band, though does belie the hardedge implications of the title. That said, opening track Sine Wave takes on elements of perverse distortion, tribal drums and shimmering electronic textures to meld together aspects of space-rock and post-punk (very Radiohead), though this attention to unmitigated aggression soon gives way to the blistering emotions of tracks like Take Me Somewhere Nice, Dial: Revenge and 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong. Here we find some of the most exemplary arrangements this side of Godspeed You Black Emperor, with the groundwork of Television-style guitar weaving, overlaid with wilting female backing vocals... all coming together to highlight the already staggering use of instrumental arrangement.
Many of the songs rely on such varied instruments as banjos, violins, trombone, tuba, Hammond organ, cello, or accordion, which results in a wavering sound that is half mournful funeral-dirge, half screaming knees up... often within the same composition. Whilst the use of guest contributors, such as producer Dave Fridman (Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips) and Super Furry Animals vocalist Gruff Rhys ensure that this sounds like no other Mogwai record before, or since. A stunning, albeit, somewhat short collection of songs, which deal in emotional textures and lugubrious restraint, unlike the majority or their rock contemporaries, who seem to be in it for the money!
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on 30 April 2001
mogwai have always had amazing songs on their previous LPs but where 'Young team' was marred by some really crap tracks like 'radar maker' 'with portfolio' and 'r u still in 2 it' and 'Come on die Young' failed simply by being too long and boring with not enough loud 'Rock Action' succeeds by cutting back with a less is more approach. much has been made of the shortness of this record at 38 minutes it is only short for a mogwai lp and it is this coupled with the diversity of the tracks - here for the first time on a mogwai album no two tracks really sound the same - that makes this a much better album. the other important thing is that mogwai have not lost any of there emotional intensity. the vocals (which have been used several times before on mogwai songs) are more prominent than on early songs like 'tuner' or 'i am not batman' but they don't dominate the song to the same extent as on 'cody' from 'come on die young'. here they are merely add an accent to the song, you can listen and sing along or you can let them wash over you and concentrate on the music. not to criticise their early work too much but this album is clearly there best because for the first time there isnt a bad song on here.
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on 4 December 2007
This album was seen as a compromise when compared to the bands first two albums which were were heavier in content and lyrical damage.This album started the electronic sound like the band would master later on in their career,here they were just toying with it,while the sound is certainly accessible,there is the odd dull moment lodged in between a solid enough piece of work.
The band use more vocals than they did before and perhaps after here,and thats fine and there are contributions from the singer of super furry animals and the ex guitarist of slint to boot but with two very short tracks seeming somewhat lost in the bands version of post rock this album isnt perfect,but still enjoyable when it wants to be.
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