Mogwai - "Coolverine" (Singles Going Steady)

by PopMatters Staff

13 July 2017

Mogwai provide a perfectly measured lesson in song pacing.
 

Paul Carr: Mogwai provide a perfectly measured lesson in song pacing. The song slowly dawns as a meditative crawl of chiming guitar notes echo and glide before gradually being joined by restrained drumming and a rumbling bass line. It’s an evocative opening as the music gradually lets the breaks off and gathers pace. As the song threatens to become something transcendental, the graceful whisper becomes a howl as the turbulence of instrumentation cracks to ensure it climaxes with maximum effect. [8/10]
  

Mike Schiller: There’s nothing wrong with Mogwai’s “Coolverine”, it just doesn’t take off the way it clearly aspires to. The bones of something beautiful are here, but the slow-burn build of the song is not enough to justify a full six minutes in which the structure never substantially shifts. Mogwai have throughout their career been very good at staying on the right side of the wallpaper/not wallpaper post-rock divide, but this is dangerously close to music best enjoyed while doing something else. A song with a name like “Coolverine” should be memorable, and while this is well-produced and inoffensive, it is a long way from memorable. [5/10]

Christopher Thiessen: This first track off of the upcoming Every Country’s Sun is a solid post-rock track from the Scottish veterans. The drums are particularly striking as they evolve throughout the first half of the track over the swirling guitars before becoming increasingly violent until the song’s disintegration. [6/10]

Spyros Stasis: Giving a taste of their upcoming album, Every Country’s Son, “Coolverine” encompasses the virtues that made Mogwai what they are and represent. The melancholic touch of the melodies crafts the sorrowful scenery, combined firmly with the cinematic element, to build tension and construct a firm narrative. It is one of the better tracks Mogwai has released in recent years, and even though it does not break new ground, it is still a very pleasant, catchy and emotive offering. [7/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: The term “post-rock” meant absolutely nothing to me until the first time I heard Mogwai. “Coolverine” is yet another brilliant release from the group, a distorted, guitar-heavy instrumental that almost sounds otherworldly until those desperate drums kick in and bring the song back to earth. Powerfully melodic and atmospheric to the last. Mogwai, you’ve been missed. [8/10]

Tristan Kneschke: “Coolverine” could come from any point in Mogwai’s catalog, showing the band’s consistency to crank out post-rock tunes with reliable quality and frequency. The video, however, smacks of a three-minute concept stretched to double its length. It is not a foregone conclusion that any high framerate video will automatically draw the viewer, and dragging this song through visual molasses works to its detriment. While the monochrome palette at least gives the piece a sense of cohesion and adds further drabness to the somber instrumentation, I still dare you not to speed up the YouTube playback. [5/10]

Chris Ingalls: There’s something comforting about the fact that Mogwai is still making music, especially when it’s something as regal as “Coolverine.” The unhurried nature of the track is what I really love about it—it unfolds in a gorgeous, mature way. The drums provide an almost jazzy atmosphere while the keyboards wash over everything. It’s got a chill-out vibe but is still very organic. [7/10]

Ian Rushbury: “Coolverine” never gets as noisy as you think it will. It’s a masterclass in making something rather special from a few basic building blocks. Pay special attention to the rhythm section—lovely things are occurring. [8/10]

SCORE: 6.75

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