Mojo gets more bone-headed by the month. This issue has that buffoon Liam Gallagher on the cover, a dreary A-Z of new wave, and the usual reviews section that seems to be governed more by potential advertising revenue rather than the worth of the records. The magazine seems to be spiralling downwards rapidly into Q / Uncut territory.
There’s a laughable “How To Buy” guide on post-rock which views the over-rated, dreary Tortoise as the be all and end all of the form. Admittedly it’s a genre that is only loosely defined, and one can argue whether acts like Stars Of The Lid actually fit. Even so, to have the Kranky and Constellation labels solely represented by F# A# ∞ is a bit silly, especially when Tortoise and spin-offs have two entries, and Battles’ lumpen funk-rock is inexplicably included. Spiderland is #4 – Millions Now Living Will Never Die unaccountably taking top spot.
These lists are, of course, totally subjective. Even so, Mojo once again shows how sloppy it is when dealing with anything outside of its traditional trad-rock remit. Which is a shame, because there have been many fine articles in the magazine over the years on marginal music. The problem is an editorial lack of will to take risks. I remember the stick the editor got a few years back for putting Abba on the cover. The article was a darn sight more interesting than the annual Beatles barrel-scraping, though. I can’t imagine them doing something similar today. The magazine’s target audience has always been the 35-55 year old music fan, and I see no reason why that should change. It’s just that, in my experience, its target audience is much less conservative, and is far more open to new things than the magazine. Surely that’s the wrong way round?
Here’s an alternative post-rock top ten for your delectation (in approximate chronological order).
SLINT – SPIDERLAND (TOUCH & GO)
RACHEL’S – HANDWRITING (QUARTERSTICK)
SCENIC – ACQUATICA (WORLD DOMINATION)
SIGUR RóS – AGAETIS BYRJUN (BAD TASTE)
MOGWAI – COME ON DIE YOUNG (CHEMIKAL UNDERGROUND)
GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR – LIFT YOUR SKINNY FISTS LIKE ANTENNAS TO HEAVEN (CONSTELLATION)
EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY- THOSE WHO TELL THE TRUTH WILL DIE… (TEMPORARY RESIDENCE)
PORT ROYAL – FLARES (RESONANT)
PAN AMERICAN – QUIET CITY (KRANKY)
STARS OF THE LID – AND THE REFINEMENT OF THEIR DECLINE (KRANKY).