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Mogwai - The Hawk Is Howling  (Cover Artwork)

Mogwai

Mogwai: The Hawk Is Howling The Hawk Is Howling (2008)
Matador Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: BenAndThievesBenAndThieves
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As the crowded post-rock genre inches closer toward imploding under its own weight, leave it to Mogwai to show their followers how to do things right. Now six full-length albums into their career, they've honed their sense of ebb and flow into a tightly refined science, twisting their way throug.
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As the crowded post-rock genre inches closer toward imploding under its own weight, leave it to Mogwai to show their followers how to do things right.

Now six full-length albums into their career, they've honed their sense of ebb and flow into a tightly refined science, twisting their way through grandiose song structures with expert panache. While The Hawk Is Howling doesn't necessarily do much to surprise, it succeeds through its near-flawless execution. The record spans a wide breadth of moods and textures, from darkly foreboding ("Batcat," "Local Authority") to almost uncharacteristically upbeat ("The Sun Smells Too Loud").

What becomes apparent when listening to the record from start to finish is how well each track flows into the next to create a cohesive whole, rather than coming off like a disjointed collection of meandering jams. As dramatically epic as it is eloquently understated, The Hawk Is Howling displays a rare level of compositional polish without a lot of wasted notes. "King's Meadow" revolves heavily around a simple, memorable melodic guitar line that segues into the slowly festering "I Love You, I'm Going to Blow Up Your School," a track that repeatedly rises and rests while steadily building up to its noisy and bombastic finish.

Despite a slight lack in innovation, The Hawk Is Howling remains an exceptionally well-crafted body of work. Mogwai might not be reinventing the instrumental rock game they helped popularize, but they're still hoisting the bar above the majority of their peers.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
eazyd2 (March 26, 2009)

are you fuckin serious? my housemate listens to this shit. so fuckin gay.

iconoclast (March 26, 2009)

colin,
i totally agree. last song on mr. beast fucking shreds.

this album is quite amazing too.

fallingupwards84 (March 25, 2009)

isn't that an eagle, not a hawk? or am i just poorly undereducated when it comes to ornithology?

maybe they're trying to be "ironic"?

indie kids love that kind of stuff

killdefenses (March 25, 2009)

isn't that an eagle, not a hawk? or am i just poorly undereducated when it comes to ornithology?

fallingupwards84 (March 25, 2009)

pretentious people who like ridiculous music labels like "post-rock" are stoked

DrGunn (March 25, 2009)

i love the shit out of a lot of their stuff (especially young team and rock action) but they have been on auto-pilot for a while. it's hard for me to work up much excitement for it.

neverlosethatfeeling (March 25, 2009)

Mogwai is the best band in post-rock... but this is Mogwai's worst album. Their track record was nearly perfect until they released Happy Songs, which didn't stand out enough. This one feels too self-conscious. The whole "not singing" thing seems forced this time around, and the song structure is shaped a bit like Mr. Beast, which is a much better album overall. They're covering territory they broke into albums ago. Mogwai needs to forget who they are and go further. I can't say that it's awful though, and I still love this band. 5/10

PS You're missing out if you don't see them live

xote (March 25, 2009)

Mogwai is punk rock.

Anyway the record is good but they seem to be getting kinda stale which is dissapointing.

The newest Mono record though... that shit is amazing

theproblemwithfire (March 25, 2009)

Mr. Beast was really good... this is a let down

colin (March 24, 2009)

I think this one's better than Mr. Beast, which is good, because Mr. Beast had the first two tracks and not enough else.

mannn the last song on mr. beast is fucking killer. i actually prefer mr. beast to most of their other work.

i actually never got around to listening to "hawk," though, and should probably check that out.

danperrone (March 24, 2009)

terrible album from the most overrated band in post rock.

mattramone (March 24, 2009)

Zzzzzzzzzzz. This shit is epic boredom on a scale with Misplaced! The Exclamation Mark in a Pretentious! Display or whatever that other band is called. Not to be that guy who says this, but why the fuck is this being reviewed on this site?

Archangel (March 24, 2009)

Wow, it really took this long to review this release?

I think this one's better than Mr. Beast, which is good, because Mr. Beast had the first two tracks and not enough else.

Also, this album (and the accompanying Batcat EP) showcase Mogwai's best song titles.

CCSummers (March 24, 2009)

The Sun Smells Too Loud makes me want to shoot myself.
The rest is good.

nocigar (March 24, 2009)

Great review...great album.

inagreendase (March 24, 2009)

Took me a few listens to cull any real enjoyment out of this. Guess I just way prefer some buildups and descrescendoes to straighter ambience in my post-rock.

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