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Rock Action Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 19 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third LP from Scotland's Mogwai was produced by David Fridmann of Mercury Rev.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Magnet
    A massively significant step forward.... Rock Action is so monumentally magisterial, it approaches near heretical status: the post-post-rock era's Sgt. Pet Sounds' Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  2. Gone are the meandering Sonic Youth impressions, and in their place are imaginative songs that don't alienate.
  3. After you've listened to Rock Action for the first time, you may be hard pressed to believe that Mogwai merely wrote these songs; you'll feel as if they created these symphonies out of thin air, pulling gorgeous sounds from within the deepest recesses of the human soul. Eventually you'll come back down to earth and realize that Rock Action is by no means divine...but it is very, very good.
  4. Spin
    An immaculate 38-minute lullaby for the not-working class, replete with tape hiss and timpani, sweetly brooding vocals, and otherworldly Hobbit-core. [5/2001, p.147]
  5. This is their most rewarding yet, built to enjoy in one 38-minute session, languid, melancholy tunes growing out of barely audible static pulses, incoherently Vocodered whispers or preposterously exciting cymbal splashes, carried on by soft pianos, vulgarity-free brass and strings into Bitch Magnet-meets-Samuel Barber electric cataclysms.
  6. Eschewing the sprawling, double-album ethos that marked the group's early entries into indie rock, Rock Action is also more concentrated and less elliptical
  7. Even [producer Dave] Fridmann's ever-clever studio work can't make Rock Action interesting.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. May 17, 2011
    This is a damn near perfect.

    Sine Wave opens the album with a wall of sound so powerful it nearly crushes you to death before Take Me
    This is a damn near perfect.

    Sine Wave opens the album with a wall of sound so powerful it nearly crushes you to death before Take Me Somewhere Nice soothes you with it's lush surge, while pondering spaceships over Glasgow.

    Dial: Revenge is a heartbreaking Gruff Rhys-lead tragedy of some kind.

    You Don't Know Jesus easily perfects the heavy build up then 2 right Make 1 Wrong glories in a cinematic soundscape that would put a smile on anyone's face.

    It ends with a Secret Pint, like a drunk friend falling through your front door before opening his heart to you.

    In all seriousness, there's barely a wasted note on Rock Action, Mogwai have tried & came close, but they've never bettered it.
  2. jeremyj.
    Jan 1, 2002
    amazing stuff...gotta be fucking insane not like it
  3. Tubz
    Jan 23, 2005
    Very Pure. Good Album Overall!
  4. jb
    Aug 19, 2001
    Excellent. Had to listen twice in a row to allow the complexities to be absorbed.
  5. mg
    Nov 21, 2002
    very uneven, and they shouldn't sing. sine wave is excellent.