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Hawkestral: The Future Is Us

Even with iconic space rock pioneers Hawkwind still going strong here in 2019, there are still no shortage of spinoff groups that have emerged past & present, one of the latest being Hawkestra, led by former Hawkwind bassist Alan Davey. The new Purple Pyramid album is titled The Future Is Us, and alongside Davey (who plays bass, guitars, keyboards, and sings) this debut also features Simon House (violin), Nik Turner (sax), the late Ginger Baker (drums), the late Lemmy (vocals), Huw Lloyd-Langton (guitar), Paul Rudolph (guitar), Bridget Wishart (vocals), Nigel Potter (vocals), Mick Slattery (guitar), Kevin Sommers (vocals), and Star Trek legend William Shatner (vocals).

If someone would stumble upon the music of The Future Is Us blindly, you would swear you were hearing a long lost or recent Hawkwind release, as all the signature sounds are included here. Davey has a ragged, gruff vocal style that's not far removed from Lemmy, and the music contains all the bells & whistles you'd expect from a Hawkwind album, including blipping, bubbling synths, crunchy guitars, throbbing rhythms, and plenty of spacey atmosphere. "Do What You Need to Do" kicks things off in fine fashion, a boiling stewpot of classic space rock psychedelia, Davey's massive bass lines swirling around the elegant violin lines courtesy of House, which bleeds into the enchanting "World for Fear", the first instance where you hear the trademark sax squeals of Turner. Davey lends his mystical Oud to "Sea of Sand", complemented by Wishart's ethereal vocals and Middle Eastern styled arrangements. The jazzy Nyx of Chaos" is a great vehicle for Turner & Baker, the former also lending some great, sultry sax to the atmospheric title track. Classic song "Sonic Attack" includes spoken word vocals from Shatner amid spooky Davey synth arrangements, and the very capable Lloyd-Langton drops in some splendid acoustic guitar & harmonica on the bluesy "12 String Shuffle". One of the strongest tracks on the album happens to be "May Sun", a doom laden, space rock gem of ominous proportions, chock full of heavy guitar riffs, booming bass, violin, creepy Fender Rhodes electric piano, and haunting vocals. It's followed by the manic "Goodbye Death Valley", another vintage sounding Hawkwind styled number, rhythms working overtime (including some sensational bass playing from Davey) and tasty lead guitar courtesy of Rudolph. Speaking of enormous bass tones, check out the beefy "Free Like Us", another groove laden rocker, while the space rock romp "Hawkestral" sees Davey tackling all the instruments & vocals, a hard rocking tune with a futuristic feel. The fallen Motorhead/Hawkwind legend Lemmy appears on "Bad Boys for Life", with he and Davey sharing vocals, the bass & synths massive, the grooves having a punk vibe.

Overall, The Future Is Us is a lot of fun, and while at 13 tracks it might be slightly long in the tooth, much of what's on display here is quite solid and should be of immediate interest to any Hawkwind and space rock fan.

Track Listing
1. Do What You Need to Do (8:16)
2. World for Fear (4:41)
3. Sea of Sand (4:59)
4. Nyx of Khaos (3:45)
5. The Future is Us (4:38)
6. Sonic Attack (3:15)
7. 12 String Shuffle (3:47)
8. May Sun (6:10)
9. Goodbye Death Valley (4:45)
10. Free Like Us (5:04)
11. Old Dinah (4:21)
12. Hawkestrel (4:59)
13. Bad Boys for Life (2019 AD Version) (3:26)

Added: January 4th 2020
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 243
Language: english

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