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Hawkwind - Alien 4 CD (album) cover

ALIEN 4

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.25 | 75 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars "Alien 4" is a very weird entry in the Hawkwind catalogue with nice packaging and art work but little substance in terms of actual music. The band opt for quasi-punk vocals by Ron Tree such as on the awful 'Beam Me Up'. The voice overs are okay if you are in the mood but still wear thin after a while. The spacey psychedelic tones seem more forced and there simply as window dressing. The band really struggled on this one and there is little to recommend.

Of the songs worth listening to 'Festivals' is great with Brock saying "everyone is guilty though not everyone is bad" and actually is one of the better tracks as are all the ones sung by Brock, but this is quite a forgettable album. Once it ends I can't remember a single tune. The songs are rather repetitive and many sound more like bonus tracks rather than classic Hawkwind songs. Occasionally there are some great guitar breaks and innovation such as on 'Alien (I Am)' and 'Sputnik Stan'. 'Kapal' is an electronic experimental thing with some hyper strange effects, and reminds me of Pink Floyd's material on the studio "Ummagumma". The synthetic drums do the album no favour and neither does the retro keyboards. 'Death Trap' is a rocker that stands out for the cool riffing but I am not a fan of the punkish vocals, repetition and silly lyrics.

There is more filler on this than a taxi cab's passenger door, namely the instrumentals such as 'Wastelands' that really is just spacey kanoodling on synths. The narration on 'Abducted' is part of the concept of alien abduction but could have been done better, with creepier delivery and not so much in the synth department. The album ends with 'Are You Losing Your Mind?' which is a diversion into more synth soaked weirdness. The narration of having "a silicon chip in my head" may have worked if the music was any good. The problem with the album is the band are offering nothing new, merely revisiting old ground already accomplished with previous albums. Buy only if you must have everything the band churned out and for the terrific artwork.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 2/5 |

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