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THE HAWK IS HOWLING

Mogwai

Post Rock/Math rock


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Mogwai The Hawk is Howling album cover
3.59 | 75 ratings | 9 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1-I'm Jim Morrison, I'm dead
2-Batcat
3-Daphne and the brain
4-Local authority
5-The sun smells too loud
6-King's Meadow
7-I love you, I'm going to blow up your school
8-Scotland's Shame
9-Thank you space expert
10-The Precipice

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Dominic Aitchison
- Stuart Leslie Braithwaite
- Martin Bulloch
- Barry Burns
- John Cummings

Thanks to Dim for the addition
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MOGWAI The Hawk is Howling ratings distribution


3.59
(75 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
18%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
50%
Good, but non-essential (24%)
24%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

MOGWAI The Hawk is Howling reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dim
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Mogwai, one of the most important groups of the post rock movement (though they hate the tag), saying you don't know Mogwai is saying you don't know one of the most important groups in instrumental rock history. With their debut, Young Team, Mogwai gave the world a taste of what Post rock would become, a culmination of twin guitars, moving from arpeggio to arpeggio, either getting louder or softer, in a lengthy song to climax in some of the noisiest songs in history. The loud soft technique, probably the most crucial element to the average post rock band today, and I believe Mogwai played a huge part in exploiting this song style into the... Mainstream

Anyways, enough with their history, Mogwai released their newest album not too long ago, the follow up to the much mellower, and more solemn Mr. Beast; The Hawk is howling. Not only does this one show the group returning to the Happy songs for Happy people days with some catchy melodies, and some sense of humor, but also bring the extremely noisy pseudo metal days of Young Team. Therefore giving us a superb album, no masterpiece, but definitely better than Mr. Beast, and on par with Happy songs. The first half of the album, very mellow, and easy listening, with some typical (too typical?) post rock songs, except Batcat, which brings back their metal tendencies right out into the open for everyone to see, a very bold statement. Also we get the signal for the album, the sun smells too loud which sounds like it came straight out of happy songs, but nonetheless one of my favorite tracks. After the chill out track, Kings meadow, Mogwai return to their epic ways, which they haven't been around since their debut, which extremely excites me! The next three songs are all around eight minutes long, all slightly melancholic, and all climax with incredibly and/or heavy sections. My favorite of these is probably I love you, I'm going to blow up your school which is slightly more impactful to me because of it's absurd amount of melancholia.

I will admit, there really is not crazy stand out tracks like Mogwai fear satan, hunted by a freak, or Friend of the night, which is definitely a buzzkill considering that the album as a whole is pretty solid. Where there seems to be an increase in energy, and dynamic songs since Mr. Beast, besides the signal, there is a lack of catchy melodies which the band seemed to capitalize so well on in the last album. If they could only bring the trifecta of epic climaxes, catchy melodies, and energy together, the album would have the potential to be a masterpiece. Well, it's a very good album anyways, definitely a step up from their last, which was also good. I haven't heard all the output from this group, but from what I have heard, I haven't found a masterpiece yet. 4 stars

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Send comments to Dim (BETA) | Report this review (#185410) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 12, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Hawk is Howling is the sixth full-length studio album by Scottish post rock act Mogwai. Thatīs if you donīt count the soundtrack album Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait (2006) which was released after the bandīs fifth album Mr. Beast (2006).

The music on The Hawk is Howling continues the now signature instrumental post rock sound that the band is known for. Itīs mostly guitar driven ( there are piano and organ in the music too though), repetitive ( in a good building way) and quite melodic. Thereīs a few songs ( Batcat and The Precipice) which are close to post metal on the album. Distorted and a bit more noisy than the usual Mogwai track but most songs on the album are mellow and melodic.

The musicianship is excellent. Mogwai understand the importance of dynamics in music and they use both mellow and low volume parts as well as noisy distorted parts to great effect. This is not complex music but itīs played with great conviction.

The production is a bit more organic and bass heavy than on the predecessors from the band. Itīs a good and professional sound.

The Hawk is Howling is a good album by Mogwai and for fans of the band this is of course a must have album. I wouldnīt recommend new fans of the band to start here though ( If I was new to the band I would start with Happy Songs for Happy People (2003)). Not because this is a bad album but more because everything that Mogwai does on The Hawk is Howling has been done better before on previous albums by the band. This one is a bit on the safe side IMO but still deserving a BIG 3 star rating. I do hope theyīll try something new and more innovative on the next release though.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#210639) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Review by Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The latest (to date) studio album from the Scottish rockers of MOGWAI offers another heady mix of raw emotion and icy intellect: an irresistible combination to armchair egg-headbangers like myself.

As with earlier albums the music, all of it instrumental, is suitably moody in an upbeat sort of way (not a contradiction with this band). It might have all sounded way too solemn if not for the tongue-in-cheek absurdity of the song titles: "The Sun Smells Too Loud"; "I Love You, I'm Going to Blow Up Your School"; and (my favorite) the powerful album opener "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead". The music itself is never less than impeccable, but the titles might be the best thing here.

There are, as any fan would expect, moments of true musical beauty, even during the album's harsher moments. "Batcat" is a good example of a quintessential Mogwai thrash: aggressive and gloomy and altogether invigorating, at the same time. But the Post Rock label continues to baffle me. This isn't post- anything; the album is a model of up-to-the-minute guitar aesthetics, no less rebellious than anything released in the 1960s (even by dead Jim Morrison). And it sure ain't Math Rock, unless your level of arithmetic stops after counting up to four (or occasionally six).

The tempos don't vary much; the chords are rarely surprising; and the contrasts are limited to quiet and loud (and when you begin with one you can invariably expect to end with the other). But it all works, in the same way that the music of a band like OZRIC TENTACLES works in the parallel universe of psychedelia: with integrity and passion (it likewise helps that there isn't any singing to distract attention away from the substance of the music).

Fans of longer standing than myself can nitpick the differences between this and earlier albums, but why bother? It's enough to simply acknowledge another strong effort from one of the more consistent bands around today.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#214269) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 07, 2009

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Being a late arrival on the Mogwai scene this album strikes as refreshing and uplifting more so than some of the ealier works. I recall seeing this band live way back in 2000 and the one thing that struck me at the time was that they sounded lacklustre and bored. Maybe it was the venue, who knows. Anyhow this 2008 release begged the question if many fans were finding this just another ' automatic pilot' release then why were other listeners on the opposite side of the spectrum in terms of opinion? The albums starts off with the stereotypical " I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead" opener. If anything this plays out the least in new territory. The dark ' Batcat' follows, try see the video on youtube, great for raising chills up and down your spine. No major climax but a solid dirge of perpetual creeping nervousness. Sounds like a soundtrack to a SAW movie! " The Sun Smells Too Loud" is arguably the most commercial track and it is quite uplifting if only to suffer from being repetitive in a irritating sort of way. the strong points are ' Scotland's Shame' and the closing " precipice" which gives GSYBE a run for their money. This is a great album from a consistent band that give post rock/math rock a good name. It is little wonder this band is so highly praised by the likes of Robert Smith from the Cure. The Hawk is Howling comes as strongly recommended and worthwhile if you are new to Mogwai ways to start on this album first and work backwards.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#230308) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 07, 2009

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Scottish band Mogwai is often mentioned between post-rock roots musicians. This their album, more than 10 years after their glorious early works, still rocks.

Guitars sound, repetitive musical structures, mixture of acoustic and noisy, energy and dreamy relaxed songs - all these usual components are presented on this album as well. Musicianship level is good, songs are different enough in melodies, rhythms and tempos not to be boring.

So - another good band's work? Yes and now. If you're fan of Mogwai, I believe you will be happy with this album. However I am just listener, hungry for all possible new ideas and sounds, I just found regular average safe post-rock album there. And if 15 years ago this sound was innovative and almost revolutionary, during this decade and half it was over- exploited. Myriad of post rock bands all over the world are playing this repetitive calculated combination of twin guitars sound, cool and dreamy atmosphere, some pseudo heavy metal guitar explosions here and there. You can't do it again and again anymore!

Strong average post-rock album without trying to find new lands.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#267731) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Review by EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 6/10

"The Hawk Is Howling" finds itself exactly in the middle between straightforwardness and experimentation, with a bit disappointing results.

I wonder if Post-Rock is slowly dying. Are the memorable build ups only going to happen in a metal context from now on? basically, is Post-Rock getting repetitive and less popular, while Post-Metal is getting bigger? Godspeed You! Black Emperor are gone, Sigur Ros are pretty much too, and most of the new "post" something are metal driven. Mogwai are the only big band of the genre that still survives, but the music that they do now is not the one we were used to. It would be a pretty good thing, otherwise there wouldn't be any originality and everything would sound like the early days, but the music I'm hearing, that pretends to be Post-Rock, isn't really so. But despite these complaints, "The Hawk Is Howling" is sort of a nice surprise.

Mogwai with this album start adding synths, more electronics, more of a lot of things that we don't usually hear in an album of this band. But Mogwai always managed to sound differently from one album to another, one of their talents I suppose, that is obviously proven on this latest LP. But many elements that we loved about this band are slowly vanishing, especially the build ups, thus many songs feel like "simple"instrumental rock songs. Eventually with the 2011 release "Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will" the Post-Rock elements will be even more omitted, going more towards a straight forward style. "The Hawk Is Howling" ends up being exactly in the middle of straight-forward, accessible moods, and more experimental ones.

As the album starts off with the first few piano notes of "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead" you feel like you're going to enjoy the album overall: the rest of the song builds beautifully, reminding of the glory days of the band, and you end up falling in love with such a song, easily the most touching and promising of the album. The second track, the extremely heavy "Batcat" which gets unlike the previous song straight to the point and stays so for the whole five minutes, is not exactly something you would expect from this band, but another nice surprise never hurts. But as the album starts unfolding, the songs get a little more generic, sometimes trippy ("Danphe And The Brain"), sometimes accessible ("The Sun Smells Too Loud"). As the second half starts, you notice that the songs that follow are even more generic, because of their poor delivery and pretty boring feel, especially the last three songs, all of them longer than seven minutes, amplifying their own vagueness.

An album that starts brilliantly, but ends in quite a disappointment, leaving the listener pretty confused and a little underwhelmed, if not even bored. I admit there are a few songs here that I immediately fell in love with, and remain in my heart, and these songs, in my opinion, make this album listenable.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#566361) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 11, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Mogwai's return to the musical approach of their early releases on the Zidane documentary soundtrack must have inspired them, because on The Hawk Is Howling they continue to incorporate more of the fragile textures of their early albums back into their music - but accomplish this much more satisfyingly than on the Zidane soundtrack. Could they have been holding their better material back for this album? Possibly, but I can't really blame them - I'd rather have one excellent album and one mediocre album than two good albums that both suffer from some filler (because in the former case I can just ditch the mediocre album and listen to the brilliant one over and over again).

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#730648) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars Other than the occasional Mogwai composition, this is the first album I've owned from the band, so I don't consider myself a Mogwai expert. But I do have to say that I am quite impressed. I love the way Mogwai develops their themes on this album and how they use a lot of variety which at tim ... (read more)

Report this review (#282064) | Posted by TCat | Saturday, May 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I have actually had Mogwai's Young Team for a while, but never been able to get through the whole thing. That said, The Hawk is Howling is a pretty enjoyable album. It covers a lot of different tonal colorings, from mellow and light to intense and metallic. There are plenty of great songs on t ... (read more)

Report this review (#210912) | Posted by evantate09 | Friday, April 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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