Mogwai – The Hawk is Howling
As instrumentals go, it’s very easy for an artist/band to create something that is boring, vapid, and meandering off to nowhere. Much like music journalism.
On occasion, a band can make an instrumental album that is a soundtrack to the best movie you’ll never see. Two albums this year (Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts I-IV; Unkle’s End Titles… Stories for Film) have so far tried to do this, and failed somewhat in that task, whilst not being terrible albums by any means.
Mogwai’s The Hawk is Howling is that amazing non-existent-movie soundtrack. The album transitions seamlessly from mellow piano-based tracks, through to the epic hard rock of second track Batcat, right through to the mellow and blissed out Thankyou Space Expert. The standout track for me though is The Sun Smells Too Loud, which is the kind of song I’d like playing in the background if I had to re-graduate high school on a warm Summer day whilst also dealing with unrequited schoolyard love before I leave for overseas forever. Uh, so I guess it has a kind of ambivalence to it.
The second best track on the album is also the closing track The Precipice, which menacingly crescendos to the albums climax, finally dying off ever so quickly into feedback for a few seconds before just stopping. The words you are looking for are: Fucking. Epic.
It’s mid-October, so the words ‘Album of the Year’ start bouncing around for all new releases that you listen to. Is this it? No. Top 5, maybe, Top 10, most likely. I’ve already got a good idea what’s going in at the top spot on my list, and I can assure you that it isn’t what you’ve got going in at number one, and if it is, we should totally make out.
Mogwai – The Hawk is Howling gets a resounding 86 mysterious song titles out of 100.
Also, it looks like WordPress has a poll feature now, so without further ado…