Music | CD Review: Mogwai – The Hawk is Howling

 
 

Artist: Mogwai
Album: The Hawk is Howling
Rating: B+

Having inherited an unfortunate association with the ‘Emo’, angst-ridden, post-grunge kids, Mogwai are a band that probably should be taken more seriously.

It is true that for a lot of people, Mogwai’s albums are a relic from their darkened, teenage bedrooms, but their expert instrumental rock symphonies contemporised with computer wizardry earns critical and consumer acclaim effortlessly.

On first listen there are similarities, the band’s sixth studio release can be compared to be heard with The Smashing Pumpkins, but with mostly instrumental Mogwai’s different alt-rock experience to that of altogether.

These five Scottish fellows enjoy minimal reoccurring themes. Seasoned Mogwai fans will describe this as an ornate wealth of sound, accumulating in a tense crescendo. However, for impatient new listeners, the retentiveness can be a little irritating. Those who expect something radically different in each song may be disappointed.

The best way to enjoy The Hawk is Howling is not to expect too much excitement and take the music as it is. The band’s hypnotic sound is enough to satisfy any willing listener, whilst swift dynamic changes will catch the attention of those who might otherwise have strayed.

Tracks such as ‘I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead’ and ‘I Love You, I’m Going To Blow Up Your School’ prove that instrumental compositions can poignant and arousing, beyond what words can capture. Sometimes a singer
just isn’t necessary.

In a Nutshell: An indie-rock staple, which will have you looking into their back catalogue before long.

Susannah Williams

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