Mogwai – The Hawk Is Howling

Just how do you follow up from providing the soundtrack to a docu-film about a chest-butting French footballer (Zidane; a 21st Century Portrait)?

Well, when you’re firmly established Glaswegian instrumental, cosmic and mind melting tune-builders, you simply wait a few years then comeback with a full-length offering that uses your subtlety and mood implanting touch. This way you show everyone that you won’t change with the fads and trends.

‘I’m Jim Morrison, Dead’, opens out with deftly eerie key usage, building up to a glorious oceanic sounding epic. The increasing energy from that flows into the fuzzy, sonic rocking ‘Batcat’ and the Mogwai touch of old, is still well and truly there, giving fans of their heavier side crumbs of comfort.

A sea of serenity is carefully created through the sparse, hush percussion toed ‘Local Authority’, before some Four Tet and Mum ambience is filtered into the climbing and digitally toed ‘The Sun Smells Too Loud’. Entirely vocal free, this latest melting parade that is the brainchild of the thirteen year veterans of the band, Stuart Braithwaite and Dominic Aitchison. It highlights the fact that their empirical, epic building tendencies are only emboldening with the passing years.

The echoing, organ slanted ‘Scotland’s Shame’, bears this out best, as the spirit and almost mesmerising instrumental cruise of M83 is replicated. Mogwai, if anything, with this building ten-track exploration, drive home the point that their ability to take you to the darker recesses of yours and their mind without uttering a word, is just gaining in strength and potency.

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