Mogwai – ZEROZEROZERO – Album Review

Mogwai ZeroZeroZero music review

Mogwai – ZEROZEROZERO – Album Review

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Recently I jumped on my podcast and talked about how I truly believe there are some bands that won’t necessarily grab you straight away. Many things can play a part. The timing might not be right. You might not be in the right headspace. You could be too young or worse – you could be too old. You may need to work your way up to that band before you’ll truly appreciate that band. Up until recently, Mogwai has been that band for me.

I first came across Mogwai when a chance viewing of a concert performance by Isis (the band, not the terrorise organisation) showed the lead singer/guitarist sporting a Mogwai tshirt. I loved Isis in my early twenties and they seemed like the natural progression for a kid who spent most of his teenage years listening to Tool on repeat. I thought back then I had the mental capacity and the patience for Mogwai – this wasn’t the case.

Fast forward to mid 2020, we’re all in lockdown and turning to our phones for a welcome distraction, some respite and maybe even some inspiration. Thanks in part to Spotify and my recent post-rock phase I was reliving, Mogwai’s latest release ZEROZEROZERO came into my headlights. It was time to revisit the post-rock lunacy og those crazed Scots. 

ZEROZEROZERO hits you with a sombre and eerie piano line that evokes an air of unease in opening track “Visit Me.” A beauty left unattended to in the wilds of this moody soundtrack. Like a growing weed burrowing deep below the earth, every second of ZEROZEROZERO begins to feed off each other. With tracks like “Chicken Guns” and “Nose Pints” we’re left at the mercy of a steady and well paced assailant getting closer and closer to its victim. While the feedback heavy renaissance of “Invisible Frequences” creates a steady half way point for the listener to catch a breath. 

The standout track of ZEROZEROZERO is “Moon in Reverse.” A quiet dark acid jazz triumph that breathes through and elevates ZEROZEROZERO to new heights. With its juxtaposition of that very organic drum sound to the soaring synth that drives it home at the track’s end.

If you get the feeling of dark, foreboding drama then you’re feeling the right emotions. ZeroZeroZero was initially written by the band for an Italian crime drama television series on the book of the same name by Roberto Saviano. While I’m not an expert on Italian drama, I would consider myself an expert on this album after 43 listens to it and I refuse to stop there.

ZeroZeroZero takes you to the deepest murky depths of the human psyche that an album can and lifts you back to the sombre reality that life can and will get better. Its a perfect soundtrack to plague year given the tone, tempo and timing of its release.

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