Scotland's post-rock pioneers return with a new album that mixes thoughtful with thrash.
What? With song titles such as “I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead” and “I Love You, I’m Going To Blow Up Your School,” it’s easy to expect a fit of juvenile comic playfulness on Glaswegian post-rock titans Mogwai’s sixth full-length, The Hawk is Howling, out next week on Matador. Luckily, Hawk finds the quintessential quintet in sonic moods both pensive (“Local Authority”) and thrashing (“Batcat”) with nary a musical goof in sight. Both fans of Mogwai’s raucous, seminal 1997 debut, Young Team, and those who prefer the band’s later, more understated output, such as 2001’s Rock Action, won’t be disappointed.For a taste of Hawk’s sonic schizophrenia, download album cut “The Sun Smells Too Loud” below.
Who? After releasing Young Team, Mogwai signed with indie powerhouse and current label home Matador Records, honing their sound to include droning feedback (2003’s Happy Songs for Happy People) and searing shoegaze textures (2006’s Mr. Beast). In addition to licensing their songs to various soundtracks, the group also wrote the original composition for the soccer documentary Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, as well as the experimental sci-fi flick, The Fountain. Currently, Mogwai is Stuart Braithwaite (guitar/bass/vocals), Dominic Aitchison (bass/guitar), Martin Bulloch (drums), John Cummings (guitar/keyboards/vocals/production), and Barry Burns (guitar/piano/keyboards).
Fun Fact: Rock Action, the label that Mogwai founded and currently maintains, takes its name from Iggy Pop’s nickname for the Stooges’ drummer, Scott Asheton.
Now Hear This: Mogwai, “The Sun Smells Too Loud” (DOWNLOAD MP3)