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




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.45 | 176 ratings

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3 stars Hawkwind. The great, the bold, the magnificent. You have to give them one thing and that's their ability and will to transform, to change, to expand their sound. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The previous albums from 1970-1975 are all quite hard to crack, I think. I don't get them and maybe I never will. I've stated on quite a few occasions that the 80's Hawkwind is my Hawkwind. The 70's are kind of a lost cause, a battle I cannot win. And then ASAM hits me from and leaves me baffled. Again. Unlike previous efforts and those to come ASAM is somewhat of an offshoot, an album that differs from everything else in their canon. There's certainly Hawkwind ingredients but the seasoning is so different.

ASAM is more of a jazzy, brass-laden, british jazz-rockish and down to earth affair than many other albums from the 70's, especially the early part of the decade. The opener, Reefer madness, is wonderful with. Quirky lyrics and jazzy interludes. The rest of the tracks ranges from spacey stuff to hard rock. Apart from Back on the streets and Hunky dorky (the not so wonderful tracks) it's areally joyous affair throughout. But the main course have to be Steppenwolf. Now, there's a track if there ever was written one. Magnificent! Lengthy, great organ, lovely brass and intriguing lyrics. Iam loss for words when it comes to Steppenwolf. Listen and be amazed.

When listening to ASAM I hear things coming. The sound of New wave on the following albums from the 70's but also hints of what Calvert MIGHT have been listening to and been inspired by. I hear IF, Raw Material, Mogul Thrash and slicker sounds of the jazzy progg bands from this era. Now, the bands I've mentioned all hail from the first part of the decade but I hear the influences. Oh, there's also Roxy Music in there and it's not a bad thing. Sometimes boldness goes a long way and on ASAM it really does.

But then the question arises, is this Hawkwind? Well, that depends on your point of view and what Hawk-sound you prefer. I prefer the 80's but really like ASAM from 1976. Alot, at that. Not only because the contents are so amazing but also, which is quite endearing, is the fact that they never really sounded like this again. There are, as I wrote, clear elements of Hawkwind (like City of lagoons) and then there's not. But like Never say die (Sabbath's 1978 offering) the album is a lovely one off, an oddity but a great one.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |


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