The first album from on-again/off-again Hawkwind guitarist Huw Lloyd-Langton's LLG ensemble in almost a decade, Hard Graft is a long-distance collaboration that sounds like a poor-man's version of Pink Floyd.
Lloyd–Langton has been seriously ill twice since 2001 — once with Legionnaire's Disease and once with a combination of food poisoning, speticaemia and renal failure (it's amazing what info you can glean when you take the time to read the liner notes!) — and while his playing here is phenomenal, his sometimes gruff and inarticulate vocals sound like a weak hybrid of David Gilmour, John Wetton and Bob Dylan. But, really, who's going to listen to an LLG album for the vocals — especially when there's a song called "So Long Too Long" that features an irritating rap over Lloyd-Langton's singing?
It's much better to focus on the musicianship on display here. Dense swirls of melody dance with Lloyd-Langton's spacey runs and Gilmour-like solos, his backing players giving him their full support without stealing the spotlight.
The album oddly concludes with three short blues instrumentals as bonus tracks that are a far cry from the rest of the music on Hard Graft.
1) Huw's Intro to Hard Graft (Part 1)
2) Hello Friend
3) A Dream
4) PDT: Photo Dynamic Therapy
5) Hey Mama
6) My Eyes See Only the Sea
7) So Long Too Long
8) Strange Flower
9) Hard Graft (Part 2)
10) So Long Baby (Bonus "Huw's Blues" Track)
11) Slow Train A Coming (Bonus "Huw's Blues" Track)
12) Cowboy Blues (Bonus "Huw's Blues" Track)