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Hawkwind - Hawklords: 25 Years On CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.25 | 115 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Punkwind

Strange title, strange cover, strange band name, what about the music? Well, it's strange too but also... really good. After the recording of PXR5 in 1978, HAWKWIND disbanded due to internal disagreements, so the members went on side projects. Dave Brock and Robert Calvert recruited bassist Harvey Bainbridge, keyboardist Steve Swindells and drummer Martin Griffin to form HAWKWLORDS. This new band recorded this album and split one year later. As this disc is now considered as part of HAWKWIND's discography, "25 Years On" is technically the last studio release of Brock and co. featuring Robert Calvert.

The music enhances certain aspects of "Quark, Strangeness and Charm", especially the punk and pre-new-wave influences. The sci-fi, electronic and heavy metal aspects are however put aside. The compositions become shorter and more concise. In fact, this record is the punk-iest the space rockers ever recorded. But then... is this still HAWKWIND?

"Psi Power" is a clear demonstration of this evolution. A cool punchy punk opener. The very nice "Free Fall" has a calm melancholic spacey opening and ending and become more ferocious in the middle part. "Automoton" is just a short ramshackle robotic introduction for "25 Years", a basic pop punk song. Like in "Quark, Strangeness and Charm", this title track is a bit out of place and the weakest of the record. Robert Calvert's voice is a bit irritating and the chord progression resembles "Silver Machine"'s.

"Flying Doctor" is much more convincing and aggressive with its sharp riff and vocals. Then comes "The Only Ones", a more classic song in the vein of the space ballads from "Hall of the Mountain Grill", however more concise. "(Only) The Dead Dreams Of The Cold War Kid" is another highlight of the disc. This track can be described as a pre-new- wave version of an imaginary 60's psychedelic tune. The ender, "The Age Of The Micro Man", is an enjoyable soft space piano piece.

"25 Years On" is an unique and interesting mixture of punk, pre-new-wave and space rock. Singular in HAWKWIND's discography, the music is quite innovative and proves that the band was par on par with its time, exploring new directions while keeping their own touch. Although the tracks are less remarkable than on "Quark, Strangeness and Charm", the record is overall less uneven and more coherent.

If you want pure space, psychedelic or stoner rock, this album is not the one to go with. But if you're looking for unusual and original rock, pick this disc! Even punk fans may like it! For sure, this was a daring operation, but such audaciousness allowed Brock and co. to evolve, adapt and renew.

"25 Years On" is the best HAWKWIND album from the late 70's. It's just a pity the cover art is their worst...

Modrigue | 4/5 |


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