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Hawkwind: Onward

Space rock legends Hawkwind are still at it, back again with yet another release, this one the 2 CD set titled Onward. At the helm always is Dave Brock (guitar, synthesizer, vocals), with the current line-up also featuring Richard Chadwick (drums, vocals), Tim Blake (keyboards, theremin), Mr. Dibs (bass, vocals), Niall Hone (bass, synthesizer, sequencing, guitar), and Jason Stuart (keyboards), and guest guitar on one song from former member Huw Lloyd Langton. Most of the trademark Hawkwind elements are here on their 26th album (yes, you read that right!), making for a spacey, proggy, hard rocking good time.

When you open up your album with the supercharged, spacey rocker "Seasons", things immediately get off on the right foot. This one's a raucous hard rocker, complete with crunchy guitar riffs, effects laden vocals, and loads of keyboards, a heavy, adventurous song to kick things off. "The Hills Have Ears" is slightly more synth heavy but no less rocking, and the ballad "Mind Cut" has an almost Pink Floyd feel to it, with yearning vocals, acoustic guitar, bleeping synths, and some sizzling lead guitar lines. "Death Trap" once again shows Hawkwind's love for punky, spacey heavy rock, while "Southern Cross" is a lovely, twisting, turning, bubbling, boiling instrumental with liquid guitar lines and delicious synth colors & textures. This is what space rock is all about folks, and the synthesizer work is outstanding on this cut. On "The Prophecy", the band go for a melodic rock style, and it works quite well, with engaging vocal harmonies and a catchy chorus supported by some stinging guitar leads and bubbling synths. "Computer Cowards" is the most futuristic sounding song on the album, with heavy riffs and electronic arrangements coinciding with the lyrical theme of internet bullying, something that is very relevant today.

The latter part of the second disc is made up of some excellent sounding bonus live tracks, with the highlights being the awesome space rockers "Aerospace Age", "Right to Decide", and "The Flowering of the Rose". I'm actually a little puzzled by the configuration of the CD here, as the first disc is just under 37-minutes long, and I'm not sure why they didn't throw the two new songs that lead off CD2 onto the first disc and just include more live tracks on the latter. As it stands they could have probably fit all this onto one disc, if they simply just cut off one of the few brief instrumentals that are included on Onward. Either way, Onward once again is proof of just how vital the mighty space rock express that is Hawkwind still is after all these years.

Track Listing
CD1 (36:52)
1. Seasons (5:40)
2. The Hills Have Ears (5:08)
3. Mind Cut (4:54)
4. System Check (1:06)
5. Death Trap (3:31)
6. Southern Cross (6:42)
7. The Prophecy (4:13)
8. Electric Tears (0:56)
9. The Drive By (4:42)

CD2 (44:45)
1. Computer Cowards (5:28)
2. Howling Moon (2:12)
3. Right To Decide* (7:33)
4. Aerospace Age* (5:54)
5. The Flowering Of The Rose* (8:25)
6. Trans Air Trucking (2:38)
7. Deep Vents (0:32)
8. Green Finned Demon (5:25)
9. . (7:54)

Total Time: 81:37
* bonus live tracks

Added: September 2nd 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1583
Language: english

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