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Hawkwind - Hawkwind CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.37 | 264 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The juggernaut Sonic Attack of forthcoming Hawkwind Space Rituals had yet to be heard when the young band recorded their debut LP in 1970. But the album remains a fascinating document, precisely because of its embryonic lack of any stable musical identity. Listening to it 45-years later is like studying the fossilized afterbirth of a timid infant creature soon to become a giant, unstoppable monster.

Until then the ramshackle outfit was having trouble finding its musical feet. Thus the bluesy, atypical back-street skiffle of "Hurry On Sundown" and "Mirror of Illusion", sitting uncomfortably next to ponderous improvisations like the two-part "Paranoia" (split over opposite sides of the original vinyl), or the plodding "Be Yourself". A tantalizing hint of the future Hawkwind classic "Space Is Deep" can be heard in "The Reason Is?" buried underneath another primitive drone and too many hissing cymbals. But the otherwise anonymous jams that dominate the album function mostly as camouflage, hiding a lack of ready material so early in the band's career.

At this stage the Psychedelic Warlords were little more than blue-collar doppelgängers of PINK FLOYD, with street smarts instead of university degrees. The Floydian influence is obvious in the copycat Syncopated Pandemonium kick-starting the middle section of "Be Yourself", with the rolling drums of Terry Ollis openly aping the title track from "A Saucerful of Secrets". And the debt becomes explicit in the band's deferential, non-album cover of The Floyd's "Cymbaline", a welcome bonus to later CD re-issues.

The impression left by this inaugural effort is of an inexperienced gang of unpolished roughnecks, somewhat out of place in their first visit to a professional recording studio, trying to capture the energy of their live shows, with mixed results. The newly-manufactured Silver Machine still needed a little fine-tuning before it could reach cruising speed.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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