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Mogwai - The Hawk Is Howling CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.71 | 103 ratings

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5 stars Five years after I originally wrote this review, I feel inclined to give it the 5 star status that it deserves. It was my first Mogwai album that I owned and it impressed me enough to explore their music more. When I return to this album, I hear it for the beauty, dynamism, variety and originality that it holds. From the loud heaviness of "Batcat" and "The Precipice", the succinct beauty of "King's Meadow" and "Scotland's Shame", the sudden dynamic changes (in contrast to the slow crescendos of the typical post rock song) in "I Love You, I'm Going to Blow Up Your School", the joy and excitement of "The Sun Smells Too Loud" and the typical formula done amazingly right in "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead" and "Scotland's Shame" with amazing payoffs each time, this is one outstanding album. This, along with "Hardcore..." represents the high standard set by Mogwai (along with the bar set by GY!BE and A Silver Mt. Zion) for all post rock music to progress to. Excellent album that has grown on me even more after all this time.

The remainder of this review consists of my original review:

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 times can be in short supply among some post rock bands. There is a nice mix of beauty and discord on this album, yet it is still very cohesive. After a few listenings, I find the stand out tracks here are the harshness of "Batcat", the sunny, happy feeling of "The Sun Smells too Loud", the minimalistic beauty of "King's Meadow", the use of thematic elements in "Scotland's Shame", the nice development and use of non-traditional post rock instruments in "Thank You Space Expert", and the powerful thematic development and loudness of "The Precipice". There is plenty to appreciate here. At the end of it all, I find myself wanting more, even though the run-time of this album is substantial enough. It's too early to tell if I can consider this a masterpiece because I do need to explore their music more and listen to this more, but I can tell you that I consider it one of the best post/math rock albums I've heard. Time will tell as it always does with the works I consider masterpieces. But I will say this is highly recommended.

TCat | 5/5 |


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