Mogwai – The Hawk is Howling
Finally, I found music that I can run to these days, or at least music I could imagine myself running to, if I ever were to actually run. That being said, Mogwai always offers me something that I can run to, or at least think about running to; actually, they always make music that lets me think. The Hawk is Howling is just such an album.
First, I have to think about what I have done to begin thinking about running, which I will most definitely not do. Then, I have to think about why Mogwai makes me think about running. Finally, I have to think about what it is in Mogwai albums that makes me think.
In thinking about running, I came to the conclusion that its irrelevant to the topic at hand, the new album. Then I thought long and hard about why Mogwai makes me think about running. This is my conclusion.
The band in and of itself does not make me want to run, but it is their music that makes me do so, and more important, it is their latest releases. You see, they used to grab you, and fill your ears with swelling noise and sounds that irked your thinking caps. They have since retired these strong arms of the axe, and exchanged such powers for mellower affairs.
Opening tracks are never going to be considered the best on the album, but here, they don’t really break new ground, and instead, they wallow in the tried and true formula they used off their last album. It’s not unique anymore, considering the plethora of bands nowadays that are intent upon creating mood altering music. Let’s take songs like “Local Authority” and “Scotland’s Shame.” Each song has some offerings for music listeners, but for the most part, they are restrained musings of a band that once let go with such force that my ears rang for days, and that was with earplugs in my ears. It is gone; they have lost the ferociousness.
There is, but of course, a song like “Batcat” which recalls that grandiose noise they used to bring on a daily basis, but the availability of such noise on this album is minimal. They did, however, pen the greatest song this side of M83 with “The Sun Smells Too Loud.” Ridiculous song title aside, its the perfect sprawl of Mogwai at its best.
So then I just thought. Mogwai makes me think about running nowadays because I can ignore their albums. They used to strike me with a feeling of grandeur, but those days have long passed. I can enjoy them for their minimal offerings, but, like their songs, the albums gently float away.
My thinking has led me to declare that the glory days of Mogwai have long since passed. In asking them not to rest on their laurels we asked them to throw away what we loved the most. In the end, we were given sub-par albums that are always worthy of listening to, but never worthy of playing time and time again. We can take them for a run, but like The Hawk is Howling, their albums are used solely for special moments; lets face it, the moments just don’t seem as special as they used to seem.