From 1982 comes Choose Your Masques, the thirteenth album from British space rock pioneers Hawkwind. Carrying over the same line-up from Church of Hawkwind from that same year (yes, the band were pretty prolific at this time and put out a lot of albums within a short time frame), the quartet of David Brock (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Huw Lloyd-Langton (lead guitar, vocals), Harvey Bainbridge (bass, keyboards, vocals), and Martin Griffin (drums) are joined on one song by founding member Nik Turner, who contributes saxophone to "Void City".
The album kicks off with the mysterious title track, an eerie, ominous space rocker, before segueing into the awesome, synth loaded instrumental "Dream Worker". "Arrival in Utopia" is a fierce hard rocker that features Lloyd-Langton on fiery lead guitar, and when the band actually arrives in "Utopia", out comes the synths and sequencers, giving this spooky instrumental a feel that's not unlike vintage Tangerine Dream. Many will remember the song "Silver Machine", a track the band recorded as a single back in 1972 and later included on the X In Search of Space reissue. Well, the band have re-recorded it here, and it's still a great tune no matter how you slice it. Just a fun tune of hard rocking space music. "Void City" is an electronic/ambient piece that mostly features sequencers, samples, and drum machines, while "Solitary Mind Games" is a moody, alluring song with effective vocals and undulating synth patterns, reminding at times of the Alan Parson Project. "Fahrenheit 451" was originally written by former lead singer Robert Calvert four years prior, but not actually used till this album, with Brock taking over the lead vocal on this upbeat, quirky, spacey tune. More brief synth fun comes in the form of "The Scan" and "Waiting For Tomorrow" is a Lloyd-Langton number with some bluesy guitar licks, heavy riffs, a great chorus, and buzzing synths.
Atomhenge's remaster sounds quite crisp, and as is usually the case, plenty of bonus material is included here. "Psychedelic Warlords" is another re-recording of an old single, done here by the 1982 line-up and given a heavier feel. In addition to a host of alternate versions of songs, there are also a few previously unreleased session tracks, like the heavy rock meets new wave of "Candle Burning", the futuristic "5/4" (both Lloyd-Langton songs by the way), the dreamy space rock track "Radio Telepathy", and the ambient/synth pieces "Lato" and "Oscillations". Toss in a packed booklet complete with photos, artwork, and info, and you have another well done reissue from the Atomhenge/Cherry Red family.
1) Choose Your Masks
2) Dream Worker
3) Arrival in Utopia
5) Silver Machine
6) Void City
7) Solitary Mind Games
8) Fahrenheit 451
9) The Scan
10) Waiting For Tomorrow
1) Void City (alternate version)
2) Candle Burning
4) Waiting For Tomorrow (alternate mix)
5) Radio Telepathy
6) Dream Worker (extended version)
9) Recent Reports
10) Lato Percussive Electro
11) Solitary Mind Games (alternate version)
12) Silver Machine (single version)