HAVING BRIGHTENED 2014’s dark dawn with the gleaming tectonic might of their Rave Tapes album, Mogwai now herald the countdown to Christmas by dropping a new EP on December 1. Music Industry 3 Fitness Industry 1 features remixes of three Rave Tapes tracks by Blanck Mass, Pye Corner Audio and Nils Frahm, but leads with three new songs, all recorded during the album sessions in the band’s own Castle Of Doom studio: History Day, the heroically-designated HMP Shaun William Ryder, plus this startling, auspicious opener. A brief prelude of electronic wave turbulence is interrupted by stabbing feedback, and then Teenage Exorcists detonates into glorious parabolic flight, a surging distorto-choogle suggestive of Blue Öyster Cult’s Don’t Fear The Reaper rearranged for battalions of the Scottish guitar army. Powered by drummer Martin Bulloch’s precision flailing, the melody is sing-song simple, and Stuart Braithwaite bows to its logic with a straightforward and audible vocal (“I said nothing, I said too much/I think you are a good, good person”). There’s even a repeated chorus, destined to afford Mogwai the unusual experience of hearing their audience sing back at them. The euphoria peaks with a crushing middle-eight throttle shift, before one last chorus ushers the bedazzled three and a half minute ride to a close.
Teenage Exorcists is streaming below via Soundcloud. As the band’s late champion John Peel was fond of declaring when one of his favourites crossed the pop Rubicon: “Chart-band sound!”