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Hawkwind - Space Ritual  CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.20 | 284 ratings

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5 stars You need this album. Reviewer Sean Trane said "This live album sounds like mayhem" and he's exactly right: this is what Hawkwind live is all about - CHAOS! Many bands have a resident nutter in their line-up - we've all heard the anecdotes - but the Hawkwind who recorded Space Ritual had THREE loonies on stage. They had Lemmy The Lurch: bass assassin and speedfreak (as the saying goes: after the holocaust only 2 types of creature will survive... cockroaches and Lemmy); Uncle Nik: falling off the stage dressed as a frog; Captain Calvert: where to start on Robert Calvert? He made those first two look like sensible people. There's not enough space here to explain it to you, dear children. Suggest you visit Spirit of the P/Age when you've got a spare week. So... we have a band of seven musicnauts, including 3 certified nutcases, various dancers (led by the Amazonian Miss Stacia) and a liquid lightshow by Liquid Len (who else?) - OK, so you can't actually HEAR the lightshow on the album, but you get what I'm saying, right? Huh? This WAS the definitive spacerock album. The Hawks thunder their way through a battery of numbers that pummel your head into the back wall. This ain't no chin stroker's music. Hawkwind's manifesto was to "...make people's sphincters explode" and this album is as close as you'll get to being there. All in the relative safety of your hermetically sealed, 21st century living room. The music explodes out of your speakers with a ferocity that's hard to explain in mere words. These guys really are scary. Tracks like Orgone Accumulator, Born To Go and Master Of The Universe pommel you into submission, Lemmy's bass acting like a second rhythm guitar, Simon's drumming having a relentless, pounding cadence, the scary noises of Del and DikMik adding a spacey feel to it all (man!), Nik Turner's alternating sax honks (on the faster numbers) and flute sections (on the quieter numbers) giving the whole thing a final frontier aspect. Robert Calvert's vocal delivery swapping between manic singing and threatening spoken poetry. I won't go through all the tracks here, because it'll take forever - just get the album and listen to it. One thing I will mention, though, is Welcome To The Future. If you listen carefully, you'll notice there's a very slight pause between the end of the number and the start of the crowd noise. This is because the band absolutely nailed the track and, when you do something SO perfect as that - the audience are momentarily stunned into silence. Yes boys and girls - you can hear the whole crowd has its breath taken away - everybody is stunned in to silence, they're absolutely awestruck for a moment. Then (of course) all hell breaks loose. Fantastic! The only other point I'll make is about the encore bonus track(s). The track was originally released on Roadhawks, listed as "You Shouldn't Do That" - Hawkfans will tell you, though that it's actually 2 tracks: "You Shouldn't Do That" followed by "Seeing It As You Really Are". SIAYRA is a stonking version too, much more freak-out factor than the version that appeared on their debut album. There's not a weak track anywhere, the whole thing is an absolute wonder to behold. Get this album - you deserve it.
Starfighter | 5/5 |


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