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Hawkwind - Into the Woods CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.74 | 55 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "Into the Woods", released in 2017, was considered by the band to be a sequel to the previous album "The Machine Stops". By this time, the only long-time members that are still with this band are Dave Brock and Richard Chadwick. Everyone else is among the constantly changing personnel. However, this album is one of the most varied, yet strangely typical, of the later Hawkwind albums. It is full of surprises, fun and plenty of Hawkwind space jams.

It is a bit of a surprise that, with the many bad Hawkwind albums that have been released in the later years, that they can still cull together a decent album like this one. A lot of it has to do with the fact that when the band takes itself less seriously, they seem to have more fun and the result is a better album. The two previously named individuals play pretty much most of the instruments on the album, and that probably helps to streamline and focus their sound. Everyone else involved with the album are more like guests that appear on a few of the tracks and contribute various vocals and instrumentals. This allows Brock and Chadwick to focus on the overall sound of the album.

There is a surprising amount of old-style Hawkwind atmosphere here, especially in the longer jams as in "Into the Woods", "Have You Seen Them?", the wild and wacky "Space Ship Blues" (which features steel guitar, fiddle, harmonica and banjo mixed into the spacey wall of noise) that has this 50's rock n roll/country space vibe, the mystical/mythological vibe of "Dark Nymph" and the best (saved till the last) space jam of all "Magic Mushroom". There are the usual, shorter tracks that attempt to glue it all together, and in this case, they all seem to be related with the use of natural sounds as a background to either spoken word or musical interlude-style melodies, like the organic and acoustic "Darkland" which is as organic sounding as Hawkwind gets as the space effects are still there, just deep in the background. They even take a decent stab at a blues-based hard rocker with ""Magic Scenes" or even make fun of themselves with "Vegan Lunch".

There is a lot here for everyone, but its still all made cohesive by the traditional space/psychedelic style of the band. Even with the variety here, there is still no mistaking that this is Hawkwind for those that are long time fans. There is nothing here that will offend any of the old fans, and there are some songs that might even garner the band some new fans even though many of them might think that some of the band's styles could be a bit strange sounding to their radio-trained ears. Don't worry, there's plenty here to keep the space fans satisfied. This album, if nothing else, still proves that this band that has been around for a long time can still put out a fun and decent album and lovers of the new psychedelic bands will be happy to hear from the band that had a lot of influence on those new groups. This is one of their better ones from their more recent discography.

TCat | 4/5 |


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