Release Date: Apr 5, 2017
Record label: Cherry Red
Hawkwind are more than the sum of their original members. Only Dave Brock remains of the band who formed in 1969, but that doesn't matter. They're a force, perennial and eternal. It's as though that noise they make, that primordial driving groove, was there long before they emerged - their numerous players, 50 at last count, were just tapping into it - and it will be there long after Brock has gone.
Last year's The Machine Stops was a return to form after albums of mixed quality from the perennial space-rockers, and at the time Dave Brock talked about it as being the work that would sustain them over their next 18-month cycle, so it's fair to say fans were pleasantly surprised to hear of this swift follow-up. In fact, it's being touted as a natural sequel or extension of that dystopian concept album… except that it works not in being some sort of development on a theme, but - and we've not really had this from a Hawkwind offering for a while - as a collection of great songs, to the point where exorcising the spoken word passages would have created a more sharply focused set. The title track sends them spinning back into the sonic density of their early 70s incarnation, new bassist Haz Wheaton doing much to regenerate that sound, before they're off at tangents of pastoral acid-folk with The Beatles-tinged Have You Seen Them, onto the acid-flavoured bubble-gum pop and hillbilly fiddle of the hobo sci-fi Space Ship Blues, the lecturing of Ascent, and the heavy tripping cacophony of Magic Mushroom.