Monday, 7 October 2013

Hawkwind - Spacehawks review

A difficult task, when writing a piece on a band that you have followed for many years is casting an impartial eye on the material presented to you. This latest collection from Hawkwind presents one such initial dilemma; who is the collection aimed as specifically, and can this collection be seen as merely another collection of odds and ends pieced together to form an incoherent whole? Thankfully, for the Hawkwind devotee, and the casual observer, “Spacehawks”, conceivably aimed at the American market, can be regarded as a summing up of where the band are at this moment. It could be argued that such a release is unnecessary, which is a fair point. But with a band such as this, with a back catalogue so enormous and diverse, taking stock periodically may be regarded as essential to their development.
For those intimate with the Hawkwind catalogue there a few treats, “Where Are You Now” blended onto the end of “Assault and Battery” and “The Golden Void” previously available on a “Weird Tapes” release, “The Demented Man” and “We Took the Wrong Step Years Ago”. “Seasons”, which opens this collection, is a reworking of the opening track on their “Onward” album, and in its’ rough and ready format here, is a characteristically forthright introduction to the collection. The version here of “Sonic Attack” is as demented a commotion, and laden with electronic white noise, as any self-respecting fan would expect. “We Two Are One” is undeniable Hawkwindmomentum and repetitive motifs knitted together to create a sonic juggernaut. “Master of the Universe” has the fluidity that comes with familiarity, and again suggests the question “Do we need to hear another version of this tune?” If there is something fresh and innovative brought to each version, then this in itself could be a justification. This particular version also adds poignancy to the collection as it a studio recording featuring guitarist Huw Lloyd-Langton who sadly passed away in 2012...

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