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Hawkwind - Space Bandits CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.05 | 97 ratings

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3 stars With Space Bandits Hawkwind bestow us with another uneven album. They have been doing that since so many years that nobody even seems to care anymore. It might be good to give this one a spin though. It's a vast improvement over the Xenon Codex catastrophe and the much too undemanding Chronicles. It has quite a few good songs that should please any remaining Hawkfans out there in the universe.

The first thing you would come to notice about Images is its length. With 9'33" it must be the longest track they've done since somewhere in the 70ties. A second thing that will strike you is that it is sung by a female singer. And she pulls it off quite well. Nothing like Dave Brocks magical nasal space vox but if fits the song quite well.

The third thing you will hear is that Hawkwind sticks to their 80's plastic sound (which is something uncomfortably similar to Peter Hammill's Foreign Town) ; meaning terrible synth drum sound and midi instruments instead of real live instruments. Lots of lush keyboards though.

Finally and much to your relief I hope, you might find that the songs are quite decent here: Images will please most fans with lots of groovy sections and its excellent chorus, Black Elk Speaks and Realms are nice, be it rather redundant ambient pieces. Ship of Dreams has a very spacey declamatory opening but instead of growing into something interesting it goes nowhere at all and fades out like a dying candle. TV Suicide has some potential as well but sounds directionless and underdeveloped.

Two other winners for me would be the very moody Wings and the typical upbeat Hawkwind tune Out Of The Shadows. Wings is very much unlike your usual Hawkwind fare so it's no surprise other people seem to dislike it. With its repeated electronic pulses and female vocals it comes closer to Siouxsie & the Banshees then to your accustomed Hawkwind predictabilities. Rest assured it's an excellent track I wouldn't want to leave it out of a Hawkwind 80's collection.

Just a bit too uneven for 4 stars I'm afraid.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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