PIAS/Rock Action - 2006 – 44 minutes

In a perfect world Mogwai would sell ten times as many records as the also-rans who hog the limelight and release albums in a ratio of two-parts singles to eight-parts filler. Mogwai, however, aren't a band for fuss. They have consistently released great music and built up a fanatically loyal following but live in their own little universe, removed from trends, hype and bad haircuts.

Few can match them for power, grace or, indeed, sense of humour - 'Mr Beast' apparently getting its name from a passenger collection sign the band saw in the arrivals hall of Glasgow Airport. But there's little lost in translation here.

This is an album that has the toughest of acts to follow: its predecessor, 2003's 'Happy Songs for Happy People', being one of the most colossal rock collections of recent years. There are times when 'Mr Beast' is its equal, with 'Travel is Danger', 'Team Handed' and 'Friend of the Night' arguably the best consecutive trio of songs on any album that will appear this year.

Pre-release speculation said that 'Mr Beast' would herald a return to Mogwai's noisiest roots but while there's plenty of decibel pile-ons, 'Acid Food', 'Emergency Trap' and the aforementioned 'Team Handed' are perfect hideouts from the mayhem.

A soundtrack for every mood - and a record special enough to even change them.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Auto Rock - Glasgow Mega Snake - Acid Food - Travel Is Dangerous - Team Handed - Friend of the Night - Emergency Trap - Folk Death 95 - I Chose Horses - We're No Here