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Hawkwind - Live Chronicles CD (album) cover

LIVE CHRONICLES

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.73 | 70 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Hawkwind live is what makes this band so special, having banged out a career where studio recordings are frequently uneven but live documents habitually stellar , or in this case, interstellar! Seeing this legendary group in concert is a moving, hypnotic and disturbing affair, leaving the jet-lagged fan in a cosmic daze for days and days. Not the most complex or varied of styles, the Hawkwind experience is loud, hard and visual , often relentless, brooding and monolithic, interspersed with ambient synthscapes, sci-fi narration and galactic rifferama , all propelled by a binary and hammering rhythm section that has only submission on its astral agenda. Lead guitarist Huw Lloyd-Langton weaves loopy electric solos throughout (but particularly on "Moonglum"), leaving Hawkman Dave Brock to man both the keyboard arsenal as well as the rhythm guitar chores, while Harvey Bainbridge synths his way through the stars. Bassist Alan Davey rumbles on his Rickenbacker and drummer Danny Thompson bashes energetically. There are some necessary Hawk standards such as the punkoid "the Sea King", the coarse "Angels of Death", the monstrous "Magnu" and the classic "Masters of the Universe", as well as a few lesser know space debris that tantalize and elicit orbiting applause. Ambient sonic floaters like "Shade Gate", "Dreaming City", "the Pulsing Cavern" and the amazing "Zarozinia" provide tempo changes that contrast well with the harder edged material like the ransacking "Rocky Paths", the playful "Needle Gun" and the breezy "Wizards of Pan Tang". "Dust of Time" is a hugely convincing piece, loaded with all the bravura and simplicity of carnal space-rock. Some tracks are a tad overblown like the vocally poor "Choose Your Masques" and companion piece "Fight Sequence" as well as the cumbersome "the Dark Lords", full of sardonic laughter and schizoid insanity. The closer "Horn of Fate " is a slight letdown, a bit too obvious and lacking the necessary showstopping attributes one would expect from the Hawkers. While no where near the majestic "Space Ritual" (a hard to beat masterpiece), the wispy "Business Trip" or even "Palace Springs", this remains an enjoyable voyage. Certainly worthy of any Space/Psychedelia collection but its not getting 5 asteroids from this sonic cosmonaut!

3.5 Dragons and Fables

tszirmay | 3/5 |

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