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Tuesday, June 23, 2009 

Oh! How the dogs stack up

I have another 1999 album blurb up today, on Mogwai's woefully underrated Come on Die Young.

I do love this album. Is it really under-rated? I remember seeing it on some mainstream publication's list of best albums you didn't hear in 1999...maybe Rolling Stone or Spin. But that was a long time ago. I thought people would have caught on by now.

Well, I'm not surprised if it's showing up on articles years later about what you should have heard in 1999, but all I remember is that it's the first Mogwai record I could get my hands on to buy, and all the reviews I could find at the time (Rolling Stone, NME) weren't just bad, they were poisonous.

No, this was contemporary, and I think it was probably Spin. PRetty sure it was a wrap-up of albums no one heard...I felt pretty smug about recognizing one.

Hi Ian. I have been meaning to write to you properly since I sent you the Future Pilot - before then even! (in short - this is what having a baby does to my time management). But that's not what I came to say. I love what you wrote about this album, you manage to distil everything essential about it down into those few paragraphs. Because it is so abstract and delicate it's almost possible to describe it's qualities with as light a touch, but it really does rage towards the end doesn’t it? It took me quite a while to realise how powerful Ex-Cowboy actually is and I think it’s probably the track that helped put this over Young Team for me. I set up 8 speakers in my living room to test it out properly, so it was a thorough scientific endeavour. I was waiting on this album for months before it came out, got it the day it dropped (the good old days!) and have listened to it at least once a week since then - without exception I would hazard. I can’t remember any really bad press in the UK but I might have given up on the NME by then and at the time ‘m sure I would have considered anyone else’s opinion on this band irrelevant. We all loved it where I was from - the DJ in our local club even used to play Xmas Steps - there's a dancefloor divider for you.

So yeah, this is in my top 10 of all time (which so far consists of either 6 or 60 albums, I’m not quite sure)


Well, given how much you love the album I'm pleased that my blurb holds up for you, Duncan! I'll admit that when I first bought the album as a teenager I thought it was terribly boring, but that's partly because records like CODY were part of the process of my taste slowly maturing from "whatever's on TV" to the stuff I like now. It helped that I was in high school and had aimless afternoons where I could do nothing but play some shitty old SNES RPG with this on repeat instead of the game's music.

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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