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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 The transformation starts with the very first notes, a sly dive into the space travelling music that Hawkwind should be famous for (in fact, its already legend!) and after the scintillating Space Ritual live masterpiece, this is the power duo studio albums (along with the magnificent Warrior on the Edge of Time) that historically define the most memorable musical travels of this rather odd band, who have been around and prolific for over 40 years. The 1974 version of this high-flying group of space cadets (that is who you are Captain Brock) were not only gifted instrumentalists, namely violinist/keysman Simon House and the thundering Lemmy bass attack but also composed some brilliant tracks that litter the two albums in question. By the time they released Quark, Strangeness and Charm , the line-up changes had shifted their sound to an equally but different punky-space prog style , in fact , remaining a very good album. The stun-worthy opener "The Psychedelic Warlords" is a supreme example of the Hawk appeal, a driving yet melodic space voyage that hooks you in and then hurls you deep into the void. It all starts with a spooky short intro and wham, riff time! Relentless beat, hammering first and then hammering at you, until 'you disappear in smoke and that ain't no joke!' Within the howling mellotron-infused intervals, the bass bombards like a howitzer, a snake-like determination to buzz the mind and numb it into submission. Guiratist Dave Brock is only happy to pound it through, along with phenomenal drummer Simon King, perhaps the most underrated stick man in prog because of his fancy of muscular beats that hypnotize into surrender. A tremendous beginning. As for their penchant for alternating rock tracks with electronica, what better manuscript than the next track, the fabulously keyboard- adorned "Wind of Change" one of the finest ambient pieces ever, majestically symphonic , yet burdened by some hidden melancholia as the mellotrons blast forward , the House violin caressing the sonic horizons with remarkable skill , a prog-rock classic . "D-Rider" is saxophonist Nik Turner's comp, a quasi early-Roxy Music sax intro that settles into another cosmic voyage, highlighted by some rifling drum fills amid the vaporous synths and the guitar riffing along for the ride ?pardon the pun! A very good track but not more. "Web Weaver" is almost San Francico sound circa 1968, hippy-trippy and loopy, featuring a blistering jam that is most conclusive. Cute and enjoyable! They get spacy again with the slow morphing "You Better Believe It" , where once again after a sweeping intro, the marshalling beat kicks into hyper gear and cannons away. A mid section gives the lads a stage to stretch their craft .This is not complex music but very powerful, especially in a live context as I have previously stated in my Space Ritual review. Suffice to say the following motto "SEE HAWKWIND LIVE AND YOU WILL LOVE", It's just not the same on albums? The title track is a piano-led composition (a rare Hawkwind event with all the synths raging) that again searches out the interstellar beauty amid the cosmic storms. The brisk "Lost Johnny" is for all intended purposes a pre-Motorhead Lemmy tune that is deceptively simple and hard, all bass and guitars played by the Ace of Spades himself. You could see how this material differed from the others, just like the short Del Dettmar ditty "Goat Willow", a synthy breeze. This impressive classic ends with the moody "Paradox", once more offering a marshalling beat that explodes into a power groove , the guitars trashy within a synthesized whirlwind. Throw in some incredibly vivid artwork and you have a classic

4.5 Starship warps

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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