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Hawkwind - Spacehawks CD (album) cover

SPACEHAWKS

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.35 | 20 ratings

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RSC
4 stars So, 100 or more albums in the racks and over 40 years from their debut, Hawkwind have added another title to their catalogue of work. Of the original band, only Dave Brock remains, joined here by a cast of relative newcomers (although drummer Richard Chadwick has been in the band over 20 years as I write this!). Then question is then: do we really need "Spacehawks"? Let's see what's on offer ...

1. Seasons - (remix from "Onward") - a steady opener, re-mixed from the previous (2011) album; opens with a tolling bell, footsteps and a revving engine before taking flight, it's a straight forward rocker (in Hawkwind terms)

2. Assault & Battery- (new studio recording) / 3. Golden Void - (new studio recording - both originally from "Warrior On The Edge Of Time" ) - these tracks are inseperable and immortal classics, so why re-record them? Well, those who know the originals will find these new versions sound quite different! Anyone lucky enough to have seen the 2013 "Warrior... " tour will recognise these arrangements - this is how Hawkwind play these songs in concert in 2013. A time capsule, if you like. In my opinion, these re-makes are valid and enjoyable, although the die-hards may well disagree.

4. Where Are They Now - this track dates from that same golden era (1974/5) but had never been recorded until now. It actually segues from Golden Void - just as it does in concert. The pace slows about mid way through and then again towards then end, which is perfect preparation for ...

5. Sonic Attack - (new studio recording) - ANOTHER classic Hawkwind number re-recorded. The backing track to this rendition is a pulsing, synth-driven piece with Mr Dibs reciting the words in very effective fashion. Not as manic as Mr Calvert (!) but the treated vocal here works very well. Another worthwhile retread

6. Demented Man - (new studio recording - from "WarriorOn The Edge Of Time" ) - a far more mellow mood here! Played live, this was a show-stopper. Here the arrangement is embellished compared with the original, but in a very tastefully understated way. Another very valid re-casting

7. We Two Are One - new track - another rock-a-la-Hawkwind number, solid chugging beat. Absolutely nothing remarkable about this one

8. We Took The Wrong Step - (from Dave Brock solo album "Looking For Love In The Lost Land Of Dreams") - but this? What we have here is a re-make of a track which originally appeared on "In Search Of Space", Hawkwind's second album, from 1971! Going back to the acoustic mood of "Demented Man", what we have here is a beautiful, if melancholic, song. The lead vocal is by Dave Brock, with some gorgeous harmony vocals behind him on the choruses. The acoustic playing here can only be described as lovely, whilst the synth sweeps & swirls fit superbly. Tasteful, elegant and (for me at least) the best track on the album

9. Masters Of The Universe - (new studio recording with Huw Lloyd-Langton) - the late guitarist's last recording with Hawkwind. For that reason alone, worthy of inclusion. We learn nothing new about the song, but as a tribute to Huw, it works well - his playing is exemplary

10. Sacrosanct - new track - a more atmospheric piece, synth driven and none the worse for it. A dance rhythm with great slabs of power chord strategically placed, the track ventures into a keyboard mid section with some interesting percussion effects - I may now have to listen to some of the '90s albums where "Hawkwind went rave", because this is actually quite enjoyable!

11. Sentinel - (remix from "Blood Of The Earth") - a different mood now as the tempo drops. In a parallel universe, this would be Hawkwind's "lighters aloft" number. Fairly unremarkable.

12. Its All Lies - (from "Stellar Variations" - Hawkwind Light Orchestra) - the pace picks up again here on a great piece of socio-political commentary. Played live, this has gone down well with audiences and deservedly so. This track shows Hawkwind 2013 to still be very relevant. Great vocal rant by Dave: more like this, please!

13. Touch - new studio recording - slower again, this continues to showcase the 2013 version of Hawkwind. A short synth-y intro to ....

14. The Chumps Are Jumping - new studio recording - fast-paced and synth driven, a "spacey" number, again, relatively short

15. Lonely Moon - new studio recording - opens with piano & percussion, almost classical in feel ... short ...

16. Sunship - BOTE (remix from "Blood Of The Earth") - the closer is again slower paced and has a dreamy quality to it ... again, a short piece.

Final verdict? Tricky ... I am sure no one would ever describe this as a "must-have masterpiece", although some of the music here is immensely enjoyable, for fans & collectors particularly. However, this album deserves a far wider audience than that and certainly deserves more than 2 stars! It's better than good, so my final rating is 4 stars - an excellent addition to any prog music collection.

RSC | 4/5 |

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