Happy twentieth anniversary to Mogwai. I hadn't really thought about it, but I guess Pitchfork's John MacDonald is right in saying that post-rock is currently unfashionable, and indeed has been so for some time (even if he's wide of the mark when it comes to Irn-Bru, which is indeed a cracking hangover cure but also enjoyable at other times). So hats off to the Glaswegians for soldiering on.
However, much as they've been responsible for some of my favourite gigs and albums over the years, and much as it pains me to say it, it shouldn't be denied that they've been playing it safe for some time. Post-rock was all about breaking with convention - which is why last year's dull Rave Tapes was so disappointing in its predictability. The first signs that they might be getting comfortable and complacent came with Mr Beast (and 'Travel Is Dangerous' in particular) and follow-up The Hawk Is Howling was a let-down. Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will was a return to form, but Rave Tapes dashed any hopes that it might be permanent.
I certainly don't say this lightly, but given that they're unlikely to better Happy Music For Happy People, seem stuck in a formulaic rut and appear reluctant to wholeheartedly pursue the electronic direction they've hinted at, perhaps it's time they called it a day and basked in the glory of their enormous legacy.
(Thanks to Niall for the link.)