Since coming to prominence in Britain two years ago, the members of Mogwai have behaved a lot like their counterparts in Oasis. They've even initiated a feud with Blur. But the music on the Scottish quintet's "Come on Die Young" is not Britpop. Produced by Mercury Rev's Dave Fridmann, the group uses traditional rock instruments (supplemented by sampler and flute) in the service of sprawling, mostly instrumental songs.
Like last year's "Mogwai Young Team," this is from-a-whisper-to-a-scream music. The difference is that the new album takes the better part of an hour getting to the scream. Aside from "Cody" -- which actually has lyrics, although its title is merely an abbreviation of the album's -- most of these pieces are slo-mo meanderings constructed from guitar filigrees, odd noises, vocal samples and funereal rhythms. "Ex-Cowboy," the album's ninth track, starts that way too, but builds to ferocious intensity. It's sweeping and powerful, but it's also an awfully long time to wait for liftoff. The way "Come on Die Young" rations its energy is positively middle-aged.
Appearing Wednesday at the Black Cat with Ganger and Wicked Farleys. To hear a free Sound Bite from Mogwai , call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8124. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)