On 2008's THE HAWK IS HOWLING, Mogwai simultaneously returns to late-1990s form and showcases the best of its post-millennial innovations, easily making it one of the Scottish art-rock ensemble's most dynamic outings. Reuniting with producer Andy Miller, who worked on the group's formative TEN RAPID compilation ('97), Mogwai manages to recapture some of the immediacy of those recordings, while still drifting into its gentle latter-day melodicism on certain tracks.
HAWK's most stunning song is "Batcat," a crushingly heavy number that makes Black Sabbath's "Supernaut" looks positively poppy, with Mogwai's trio of six-stringers unleashing snarling guitar lines of pure dread. "The Sun Smells Too Loud" inhabits the other end of the band's sonic spectrum, offering up shimmering atmospherics that could effectively accompany solar orbit. While these two tunes alone are worth the price of admission, THE HAWK IS HOWLING is filled out with intriguing instrumental moments that fall somewhere in between (see the slowly building "I Love You, I'm Going to Blow Up Your School"), resulting in an eclectic and thoroughly rewarding post-rock album.
ReviewsTHE HAWK IS HOWLING finds Glasgow's guitar army relaxing the taut, economical songcraft of its 2006 predecessor, MR. BEAST, and setting a new standard for irreverent track titles. - Mojo