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Hawkwind - PXR 5 CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.90 | 123 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Quark, Strangeness And Charm, part 2

As I have emphasized in many of my other reviews of Hawkwind albums, I have a very hard time understanding the appeal of their early releases. While Warrior On The Edge Of Time clearly had a few good moments (most notably the two-part opening track), the rest of the band's output up to and including Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music had been pretty much completely dispensable from my point of view (and sometimes even close to sonic torture!). I find these early attempts rather sloppy, noisy, and repetitive; these early albums being badly produced and largely lacking in melodic sensibilities.

Towards the end of the 70's this changed and the band adopted a more streamlined approach, catchier songs, and higher production values with 1977's Quark, Strangeness And Charm. At the same time, however, they jumped the New Wave bandwagon and even occasionally ventured towards Punk, alienating some of their early fans in the process. The present album builds on the formula of Quark, Strangeness And Charm and stays rather close to the style of that album. The melodies are not as memorable though, and as such this comes across as a rather bleak copy of Quark, Strangeness And Charm. Personally I am not a fan of either the early 70's Space Rock period nor the late 70's Punk/New wave period, but unlike many I don't think that the latter is any worse than the former! There is a kind of Marc Bolan/David Bowie/Roxy Music feeling here, with slight electronic embellishments. The lyrics are as silly as on Quark, Strangeness And Charm.

Following this album, Hawkwind would enter the 80's with a bang. 1980's Levitation album is for me the band's first really good album, and an excellent one at that! PXR5 is, by comparison, a very weak album and the fact that Hawkwind made even worse albums in the past does not really help its cause. Only for fans and collectors.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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