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Mogwai The Hawk is Howling

More than a decade after their earth-shattering debut, Mogwai remains victims of high expectations. Young Team was a game-changer in 1997, and fans have yet to stop clamoring for another “Like Herod.” But instead of straining to break their own rules, Mogwai has quietly gone on to perfect them. The Hawk is Howling, Mogwai’s sixth LP and their first with no vocals, is the band’s most generous offering in years–essentially 2006’s Mr. Beast with room to breath. Unlike most of their post-rock peers, Mogwai avoids obvious moods, never leaning too heavily toward apocalyptic (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) or transcendent (Explosions in the Sky). Which gives song like “Local Authority”–maybe the loveliest thing Mogwai has committed to tape–a tense, unsettling beauty.

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