The Hawk Is Howling

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Customer Reviews:

  • Hawks Don't Howl
    Also, the bird on the cover is an eagle, not a hawk. Anyway, Mogwai deserve to be at the top of the post-rock heap, with a longstanding mastery of slow-building sonic architecture and mood manipulation without the need for pesky words or hotdog showmanship. This album delivers flawless and simmering soundscapes that are an intriguing experience for the thinking and moody rocker. It's a great example of effective not-so-easy listening. But unfortunately, in many places on this album Mogwai seem to be drifting off into pure atmospherics while leaving song construction behind. Tellingly, the most interesting tracks on the album, including "Batcat" and "The Sun Smells Too Loud," actually function as songs with beginnings and ends, not to mention tangible musical themes. But many of the other songs don't function as much more than mood pieces that drift off into sleepyland, with the worst offender being "Thank You Space Expert."

    Here we may also be seeing the beginning of the end for the whole post-rock style, with perhaps no more room for advancement from the artists of the genre. The songs here generally repeat atmospheres from Mogwai's earlier works and from other somber post-rock artists like Sigur Ros, and even Mogwai's occasional metallic guitar mood manipulations (like in "The Precipice" and the aforementioned "Batcat") are distressingly similar to the subtle deathmarches ground out by post-hardcore acts like Isis or Neurosis. This latest Mogwai slab still displays flawless artistry and it certainly delivers an intriguing listen, but you have to wonder about its staying power. [~doomsdayer520~]...more info
    I can't tell you how happy I was when I heard this album for the first time. It seems like Mogwai are finally getting back to their foundation, which is instrumentals with hooks. No more songs with vocals. No more mindless audio tracks being mixed in with slow dense music. No more hook-less rambling songs. I could not believe that someone labeled this album "tedious," quite the opposite, this is Happy Songs for Happy People revisited. "The Sun Smells Too Loud" will quickly become one of their most popular anthems. Plenty of upbeat and interesting songs. Great album!...more info
  • More good stuff
    I got into Mogwai a few months ago with Happy Songs for Happy People. I was blown away and pre-ordered this album along with a few of their earlier albums.
    Now, while this doesn't top Happy Songs for me, it's still a very solid album with many great moments and great contrast. Highlights include 'The Sun Smells Too Loud,' 'Batcat,' and 'The Precipice.' Yes, the album sometimes seems to lack direction and this clearly isn't a type of music that appeals to everyone. But the song titles are top-notch and if you like earlier Mogwai or post-rock in general, I'd recommend it....more info
  • Excellent mood music.
    Another great album from Mogwai. I got into these guys a couple of years ago when I read Pearl Jam's bassist say good things, and now I've got 4 of their albums. This one ranks up there with their best....more info
  • GREAT Addiction to your Mogwai collection !
    Or start to build your Mogwai collection from here.
    Great Album !!
    Still keeping this quality !
    ...more info
  • The howling is more like a whipmer.
    I hate to burst everyone's bubble but . . . .

    0) Hawks don't howl.

    1) The bird on the cover is a bald eagle not a hawk. Just check out: The Bald Eagle (Welcome Books)

    2) Does the world really need more pretentious, but ultimately meaningless and boring, instrumental noodling?

    'Nuff said.
    ...more info
  • Sadly stale
    I'm starting to doubt Mogwai have it in them to release another masterwork. While their last album wasn't the most innovative progression, it seemed like a perfectly fine encapsulation of the group's growing dynamics. Funny enough, the first two tracks seemed to mimic Mr. Beast's same first two song structures, in a less inspiring way. There is a certain laziness and predictability the once subtly perceptive, intricately melodic collective have been trading off over the years, reaching a logical peak with the last album but here routinely playing out under a guise of refinement. First timers should have a blast, but long time fans who were already becoming upset with the tidiness of their previous release might find this latest offering musically, and emotionally hollow. Ironically the most urgency found here may come from unintentional timing of this release coinciding with Wall Street's collapse, adding that much more salt in the apparent title jab to U.S. policy. ...more info
  • Good news for people who wish Happy Songs was a little less Happy...
    Mogwai is the forefront of their particular brand of post-rock, sonic manipulatory, mood altering, mindscaping compositional cathedrals. Although comparisons with Sigur Ros will continue, Mogwai really has taken a grittier road than the more delicate post rock Icelandic heroes. Mogwai has never been scared to dwell on a reverberating power chord, and they definitely try to squeeze all the emotional resonance out of some pretty downtempo guitars as possible here. Does this take away from the power or intimacy of the music? By no means. If you enjoyed Happy Songs for Happy People, this probably going to satisfy you, although things are not quite as melodic as on that album. The fuzz guitar has been turned up significantly, and there is an increased use of chromaticism here that would have been out of place there. There is much less emphasis on melody, and more emphasis on power, raw waves of feedback being more common here.

    Not that there aren't moments of piano driven beauty. The beginning of Daphne and the Brain is just lovely, with a swelling guitar behind the piano as a fantastic counterpoint. But for every Daphne and the Brain, there is a Batcat--a track that is loud, angry, and very upset about something. And ultimately, Daphne also swells and demands to be noticed. The soft crescendo of the songs can become a little predictable after a while, but is still worthwhile.

    I am not sure if this will hold up as well over time as Happy Songs has for me, but I am certainly going to continue listening to it. I have awarded it 4 stars because it is beautiful, powerful, well constructed, but not precisely revelatory, and not really a grand step forward. Even so, it will be a welcome edition to the Mogwai catalog for years to come....more info
  • Amazing Soundscapes and Heavy Metal Combine
    For the uninitiated, Mogwai is one of the most popular (and most talented) "post-rock" bands in the world. They have been rocking and rolling for almost ten years and their albums stand as monuments to post-rock music. What is post-rock you ask? I don't know exactly...but I know I enjoy most music labeled as "post-rock."

    "The Hawk is Howling" is another fine addition to the Mogwai catalog. Like every Mogwai release, the music captures many different emotions and sentiments.

    The track sequencing is superb. (Listen to every track from the beginning to the end.) The album features both soft, meandering guitar pieces and loud, furious guitar pieces. The soft tracks and the loud tracks work together to create a unique experience.

    The opening track, "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead," is gentle and melancholic and then it soars upward in volume and intensity.

    Track two, "Batcat," explodes with layered, heavy guitars.

    The next track, "Daphne and the Brain," is breathtaking (for lack of a better word). (Turn up the volume and soak it up.)

    The next several tracks, "Local Authority," "The Sun Smells Too Loud," and "King's Meadow" are all flawless.

    Track seven, "I Love You, I'm Going to Blow Up Your School," is gloomy and ominous, but perhaps the most thought-provoking track on the album.

    Tracks eight and nine, "Scotland's Shame" and "Thank You Space Expert," are gentle, but more uplifting and positive.

    And the final track, track ten, "The Precipice," builds to a fantastic and conclusive finish.

    (Several B-Sides, not included on this version, are circulating throughout the internet; they are awesome too! But DO NOT download this album. Show some respect for the artistry and the artists.)

    If you love post-rock music or music that never receives radio airtime, consider "The Hawk is Howling" from Mogwai. It's different; it's fresh.

    Keep on rockin' and rollin'! Bring Mogwai home; order this album today.
    ...more info


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