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Hawkwind - Hall Of The Mountain Grill CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.99 | 462 ratings

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4 stars From the self-mythologising opener The Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear In Smoke) right on to the raver of a closer Paradox, the Hall Of The Mountain Grill is an exciting, cohesive and occasionally even beautiful album. While the succeeding album Warrior On The Edge Of Time has many proponents, this is ultimate Hawkwind album as far as I'm concerned.

All the familiar trademarks are here, but never before or after, do they match this sort of intensity and creativity. Psychedelic Warlords is propulsive as hell, with a great jam, with the players all in the groove with newcomer Simon House and Nik Turner standing out. The instrumental Wind Of Change with Dave Brock on organ and some great violin lines from House is just so beautiful and is probably my favourite Hawkwind song ever, even if it is not characteristic and far more symphonic than one is used to from this group. Then again maybe my favourite Hawkwind song is D-Rider, one of the best storming driving Hawkwind songs ever. What a vocal melody! It really takes me out to space, especially when the whole songs starts swirling ... whoosh, just like that!

You know what's also not bad? The space-folk of Web Weaver, which is acoustic guitar and a host of sounds that swoop down from the heavens. You'd Better Believe It is another memorable stomper. The Hall Of The Mountain Grill track is a dark piano-led instrumental, that calls to mind a scene from a horror-tinged sci-fi movie while Lost Johnny is a different beast altogether, composed and sung by future Motorhead star Lemmy Kilminster, but dressed up in Hawkwind sounds (as opposed to the baser Motorhead formula). I think it's the best thing the man ever did. And it does fit in with the flow. Goat Willow is a short ethereal instrumental with Turner on flute. The opener guitar of Paradox does seem a little bit too similar to what has gone before (a common problem I find with Hawkwind) but the melody line takes the song somewhere new.

Even though I've got a hatful of Hawkwind albums (well three studio, two live and two compilations), I listen to this one more than all the rest put together. Don't get me wrong, there are other good albums (the next one, Warrior On The Edge Of Time, for starters), and plenty of quality songs scattered around, but this is the be-all and end- all of Hawkwind albums for yours truly. ... 74% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |


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