Published Mar 30, 2016A good soundtrack will take you back to a certain scene from a movie as soon as you hear it, but a great soundtrack sounds good whether or not you've seen its visual accompaniment. Scottish post-rock unit Mogwai's latest cinematic exercise Atomic falls into the latter category.
A ten-track album comprised of reworked material that was originally created for Mark Cousin's acclaimed BBC Four documentary about the horror and awe-inspiring beauty of atomic energy (Atomic: Living In Dread and Promise), the band's latest effort finds them further focusing on the propulsive power of analog synthesizers, crafting elaborate and explosive compositions that warp and seduce the mind (the John Carpenter-esque "SCRAM" and "U-235"), as well as more traditional, slow-boiling songs that instil a sense of fear the longer they last ("Little Boy," "Pripyat").
Fans of 2014's Rave Tapes and that year's Music Industry 3. Fitness Industry 1. EP won't find anything to dislike here, as Atomic perfectly captures the band's recent progressions, ornate (the strings-centered "Are You a Dancer?" and horn-heavy opening track "Ether") or otherwise, and is undoubtedly one of the most consistent albums front-to-back from Mogwai's two-decade-long career. (Temporary Residence)