The days of Mogwai being a fully fledged post-rock band are long dead, probably since the release of glorious Mr Beast with its follow ups The Hawk Is Howling and Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. That soaked in so many influences, that Mogwai grew into a sound that fit their name only: a culmination of experience and talent.
The Earth Division EP continues to walk on the ground that Mogwai have treaded lately. Opener ‘Get To France’ a piano based track with underlying violin orchestration that nods towards operatic geniuses’ like Beethoven, rather than the rock and soundtrack influences that Mogwai wore on their sleeves previously. ‘Hound Of Winter’ is a slow melodic plucked guitar focused track with almost sighed vocals that plays its hand at some form of laidback folk. ‘Drunk and Crazy’ meanwhile, is the Mogwai that we would more expect today, a quick upbeat electronic bass line, with the band are at the height of their soundtrack prowess here, mixing rock sensibilities with an almost dance music feel before cutting back the swell to show off their orchestral talents once more. Final track ‘Does This Always Happen’ is almost post-rock by numbers, a basic guitar melody repeated and repeated while clever instrumental touches are added behind and around it. While it doesn’t reach a predictable crescendo, this is to its benefit as it recalls the fantastic work that Mogwai created for The Fountain soundtrack.
The Earth Division EP shows why bands should be allowed to create their fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth album, it see’s Mogwai continuing to craft their own sound, a portrait of a mixture of genres. Post-rock bands watch out, these are the dizzying heights that you should all want to reach and with this EP, Mogwai are once again raising the bar higher.