Hawkwind: Into the Woods
Don't be put off by the opening classical piano that kicks off the title track of space rock legends Hawkwind's latest release Into the Woods...no, these guys haven't gone soft on us, as they quickly unleash a barrage of Black Sabbath inspired doom riffing, blipping synths, effects laden vocals, and psychotic slide guitar for one of the heaviest songs the band has ever done. Considering Hawkwind founder Dave Brock is now in his mid '70s, it's pretty mindblowing that he's still able to keep the band on the cutting edge now nearly 50 years into their existence. After last years stellar throwback album The Machine Stops, Brock and the rest of the guys have delivered here another concept album, sort of, dealing with all sorts of 'nature' themes, as well as some of the usual sci-fi fare, for another exciting platter that shows just how relevant Hawkwind still are. "Cottage in the Woods" follows the rampaging title track, the band channeling their first few albums in clear space rock fashion, as dreamy vocals, layers of synths, and psychedelic melodies take over, while "Have You Seen Them?" again takes you back to 1972 all over again, the pixies coming out to play alongside the sizzling riffs, catchy hooks, and psych inflected keyboard tapestries. Brock's trademark vocals are all over the futuristic "Ascent", a real tasty space rock gem with some lovely synth work, and the bands penchant for hard rocking, almost punk styled psychedelia comes to the fore on "Space Ship Blues". Other gems here include the haunting "The Wind", the heavy rocking "Vegan Lunch", the drifting synth masterpiece "Magic Scenes", the charming & quite proggy "Wood Nymph", and the frantic, near 10-minute closer "Magic Mushrooms", the latter quite possibly the most aggressive and adventurous song the band have crafted in quite some time, complete with sizzling Brock guitar solos and plenty of high flying synths and bass grooves.
Into the Woods contains a wealth of variety and superb musicianship, and once again is proof positive of just how much life is left in the Hawkwind tank. Space rock fans will want to dig deep into this psychedelic feast!
1 Into The Woods
2 Cottage In The Woods
3 The Woodpecker
4 Have You Seen Them?
6 Space Ship Blues
7 The Wind
8 Vegan Lunch
9 Magic Scenes
11 Wood Nymph
12 Deep Cavern
13 Magic Mushrooms
Added: September 4th 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
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|Hawkwind: Into the Woods
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-09-05 00:28:46
Oh, the mighty Hawkwind. The band made a stellar comeback with last year's The Machine Stops, a concept album featuring the band's construct of a dystopian future where man's reliance on technology and machines creates a chilling vision, based on the short story by E.M. Foster. On their follow up album Into The Woods the band get back to all things nature, albeit in their own unique way. It's almost an antithesis to their last disc, this time the concept revolving on a more organic approach. With song titles like "Into The Woods", "Cottage In The Woods", "The Woodpecker", "Wood Nymph", well, you get the picture and the concept should become clear.
Ok, let's start with the players:
Dave Brock (vocals, guitar, keyboards, synths, theremin)
Haz Wheaton (bass, keyboards on track 11)
Magnus Martin (guitar on tracks 5 and 10, keyboards on tracks 4, 9 and 11)
Jonathan Derbyshire "Mr. Dibs" (vocals on tracks 4 and 12, keys and synths on tracks 10 and 12)
Richard Chadwick (drums, percussion, vocals)
Big Bill Barry (fiddle on tracks 6 and 11)
The title track kicks off our journey with a captivating piano intro before delving into the band's patented heavy riffs grinding about an excellent bass line and catchy enhanced lead vocals sung with a vehemence that is unique to the Hawkwind sound. The whimsical "Cottage In The Woods" features a winding synth and addictive vocals. The music builds into some nice soloing and hypnotic space rock elements. Spacey sound effects make up the short "The Woodpecker" whereas the band get their space rock juices flowing in the excellent "Have You Seen Them?" with swirling guitar riffs and a catchy vocal arrangement. "Ascent" is a more pastoral offering overlaid with delicate acoustic guitar. One of the biggest surprises is "Space Ship Blues", a sort of reworked version of "Silver Machine" this time with a countrified bluegrass feel with adeptly played fiddle and banjo.
Is this the best Hawkwind disc I have heard? Probably not but who cares. The high standards of the band are maintained and I dare say Into The Woods is an excellent addition to the Hawkwind canon.
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