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The Hawk Is Howling

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Editors’ Notes

Mogwai's sixth studio album gushes with the same kind of epically atmospheric instrumental juggernauts that characterized their late 1990's works and finds them reunited (for the first time in ten years) with Andy Miller, the producer who initially helped bring their colossal post rock soundscapes to the U.K. festival-attending masses. The humorously titled "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead" sets the tone with scant piano notes and moody synthesizer drones that build by blanketing other instruments and textures in perpetual crescendos, spiraling continuously upward until the composition climaxes with walls of sound that end abruptly with a single guitar feeding back. "Batcat" subtly contrasts this by flirting with heavy metal guitar solos and pummeling hard rock rhythms. Mogwai shift gears again on "The Sun Smells Too Loud", which is so tuneful and catchy, it almost begs for some vocals until a fuzzy guitar line comes in and "sings" the melody before getting upstaged by some beautifully harmonizing keyboards. Ending the album with "The Precipice" is like stepping in an electric guitar hive and getting inundated with layers of buzzing solos.

Customer Reviews

Classic Mogwai

Fantastic soundscapes and no pointless lyrics makes for one spectacular album. Mogwai certainly know how to make good, flowing music that is perfectly tuned to the modern world. 'Batcat' is especially heavy but they mix it up with other more ethereal tracks such as 'I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead' and 'Scotland's Shame.' Well worth a listen.

beyond stars

it really should be forbidden to make music as powerful as this. for me, i haven't been moved by an instrumental album ever as much as this. the intensity, grace, might and beauty contained in these perfectly gelled together tracks has multiplied beyond infinity. turn it down and bask in its sublimity. turn it up and prepare for a profound sonic assault like you never imagined. the first words spoken on their debut 'if someone said that mogwai are the stars i would not object. if the stars had a sound, it would sound like this.' 11 years on, quite simply, this record has more power than the stars.

Consistently Excellent

One of the finest bands of the last 10 years make a welcome return. Highlights include Scotland's Shame & The Sun Smells too Loud, whilst the single Bat Cat is a striking piece of music. A band with very few peers at this moment in time.


Formed: 1996 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The cosmic post-rock band Mogwai were formed in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1996 by guitarist/vocalist Stuart Braithwaite, guitarist Dominic Aitchison, and drummer Martin Bulloch, longtime friends with the goal of creating "serious guitar music." Toward that end, they added another guitarist, John Cummings, before debuting in March 1996 with the single "Tuner," a rarity in the Mogwai discography for its prominent vocals; the follow-up, a split single with Dweeb titled "Angels vs. Aliens," landed in the...
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