Mogwai

Happy Music for Happy People (Matador)

The Rock-n-Roll With a Twist series 65 locations, including the Hard Rock Café, the Agora, and the Beachland The cards are free. For more information, e-mail Frank Derrig.
Don't be fooled by the cheery album title -- the cheeky Scots in Mogwai are being snarky by saddling their fourth record with a mirthful name. In fact, if the world were to end tomorrow, the nuclear wasteland instrumentals on Happy Music would be the ideal soundtrack for the apocalypse. Vaporous synths, cinema-worthy strings, and chiming guitars swell and bob ominously, like waves in a stormy sea. Aiding their discontent are uneasy flourishes -- unintelligible vocal computerization ("Killing All the Files"), Spacemen 3-like lullaby drones ("Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep"), and a miasma of electronic scratches, Nintendo keyboards, and piano dirges ("I Know You Are But What Am I?").

Curiously, the gale-force feedback roar of earlier albums like Come On Die Young surfaces only occasionally -- most notably on the wind-tunnel crescendos ending "Stop Coming to My House." Nevertheless, the eerie calmness of Happy Music is as unsettling and mesmerizing as Mogwai's raucous past, finding its poison in beauty rather than chaos.

Scroll to read more Music News articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.