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Hawkwind - PXR 5 CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.90 | 123 ratings

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3 stars Hawkwind is a band that has crept into my conscience over the last 10 years or so. Struggling with the classic (1969-1975) I found it hard to embrace a band so overly chaotic and spacey. Yes, I did find it hard. I did not, however, surrender though the odds weren't in my favor. The band made a terrific change in direction by 1976. The previous year the released what was to become the last of the "classic" era's tradition. "Warrior on the edge of time" was a great album in it's own right and maybe the only from that period I really enjoy from start to finish. I agree with the label "classic" when it comes to describing the first five or so years but that doesn't mean I embrace it. I like the later installments, the late 70's and all the way up to the Hawkwind of today. They have always been bold and by 1976 this was obvious enough when they released "Astounding sounds". This was a drastic change in direction and actually the only one of it's kind, because they evolved further on the next few albums. By 1979 they had merged the New Wave influences with a sort of spacey hard rock, which works just fine. I think that they reached their musical and creative peak with "Levitation" in 1980. That is not only their finest hour but one of the finest records ever made in the field of space rock.

"PXR 5" has it's ups and downs, for sure. Most Hawkwind albums are like that. In real life it is simply a question of taste and not quality, I suppose. The album opens with "Death trap", a fast paced rocker about a race driver. It is a great opening and live it is even better. "Jack of Shadows" is a very nice track, very Hawkwind-ish of the period. "Uncle Sam's on Mars" is not my favorite track, nor is "Infinity". They are OK. The intro to "Robot" is an ambient sort of piece. I have always been fond of those. They are really intriguing. "Robot" is a decent enough track.

The best of the lot is the song "High rise" with it's bleak soundscape and keyboards. I really get the feel of 1979 when I hear that song. It is one of the finest of Hawkwind's entire output. The title track is an equally impressive and intriguing track. A great way to end the album.

As a whole I would not recommend this album before others but it has it's distinct charm and is an even album, quality wise. It is certainly interesting as the final installment in yet another phase of an ever evolving band. "Levitation" is certainly different and that album is nigh on the only one of it's kind. If you follow the trail of Hawkwind you will certainly bear witness to a band that moved from one platform to another without ever losing it's identity. From psychedelic chaos to progressive rock via new wave, hardrock and ambient and back again. Impressive. This album is a testament to that boldness and eagerness to change.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |


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