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Hawkwind - Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.44 | 182 ratings

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3 stars Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music (1976) was the first Hawkwind album with Robert Calvert at the helm as permanent vocalist, and his influence led to a change in direction for the band over their next few albums. In addition to the ubiquitous space-rock this album contains some proto-punk in the shape of KERB CRAWLER, plus a couple of unimaginative funk instrumentals in the middle of the album. The remainder of the material is fortunately much better, and the chugging riff of REEFER MADNESS provides a nifty backdrop for what seems like a pitched battle between guitar, sax and synths.

Calvert's lyrics centre on themes of urban life and science fiction, and there's even some kind of loose concept based around sci-fi comics that extends to the cover art. The edgy aggression of STEPPENWOLF heightens the feelings of isolation and alienation in the lyrics, while Simon House's atmospheric violin interlude contrasts well with Nik Turner's yelping sax licks. The album closes strongly with the Eastern-influenced KADU FLYER and the Simon House instrumental CHRONOGLIDE SKYWAY, which features a shifting dialogue between sax and guitar underpinned by an airy synthesizer drone. Overall this is a fair album but it falls a bit short of the band's two previous releases, therefore it's worth 3 stars in my opinion.

seventhsojourn | 3/5 |


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