Mogwai Earth Division

Mogwai Earth Division
Taken from Mogwai's Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will sessions, this four-track EP places itself in stark contrast to the full-length from which it was spawned. While the Scottish quintet opted for brighter melodies on Hardcore, the leftover material on Earth Division is both haunting and charming, with string arrangements playing a much larger role. "Get To France" features a prominent piano line that conjures images of a ballerina softly and silently twirling across a stage, while "Hound of Winter," an acoustic-based track featuring gentle vocals, is a nice departure from their instrumental norm. However, as with many EPs of similar origins, Earth Division is a bit scattered, without a strong link from song to song. But each track makes a solid case as an addition to their live performance, especially melancholic closer "Does This Always Happen?" This is a must-have for diehard Mogwai fans, but nothing more than a casual listen for anyone else. (Sub Pop)