The whole ‘post-rock’ thing is just ridiculous. It implies that rock has died and that its lineage has come to a halt. I’d argue that it hasn’t at all, that the progression from Bill Haley and the Comets in the fifties to a group like the Velvet Underground in the seventies [sic] is musically a drastic shift that can, and will still, be taken. (Stuart Braithwaite, The Express)
Certainly, their music has a lot in common with bands such as 65 Days Of Static: the complete lack of vocals and lyrics tends to unsettle audiences, who, as Stuart puts it, are used to having something to sing along to.
Yet their music is no less valid for all that, and hypnotic to the point of rendering the listener in a state of passivity, just as Dead Can Dance used to do in the 80s. Xmas Steps (FF 1998 #2) is a typical example of their work. An extremely quiet strummed opening leads gradually to power chords of Olympian stature that take one’s breath away, and then fades into a violet landscape of pallid beauty. This is the original version of this song, as featured on the touchingly titled No Education=No Future (Fuck The Curfew) E.P. and was called Xmas Steps after a road in Bristol called…well, Christmas Steps. It has the distinction of being the only track in the entire Festive Fifty to namecheck Christmas in the title, although you’ll be hard put to find any reference to festivity in the music.
The other version of Steps and another Mogwai festively-flavoured track can be found here.