Release Date: May 6, 2016
Record label: Cherry Red
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Art Rock, Psychedelic/Garage, British Psychedelia, Prog-Rock
There’s almost a pattern to big Hawkwind concept albums. The 1975 epic Warrior On The Edge Of Time, their take on Mike Moorcock’s Elric saga in 1985, the X-Files style conspiracy of Alien 4 from 1995. Nothing of that vein in 2005, and they’ve missed the sequence by a few months here, but their latest, a take on EM Forster’s classic sci-fi short story, very much stands alongside those catalogue entries.
No stopping: space rock veterans reach a new peak on their ambitious concept album. For those who believe Hawkwind’s best days are behind them, this album is likely to come as a massive jolt. That’s because it comfortably ranks alongside any, and above most, of the albums the space rockers have recorded over the past 35 years or so. It’s a concept, based on the EM Forster short story The Machine Stops, which might have been written close to 90 years ago, but which has a contemporary dystopian parallel.
The mere fact Hawkwind still exists well into the 21st century is a remarkable thing. And it's little short of miraculous that Dave Brock is still leading the space rock pioneers in the year 2016, with Brock poised to celebrate his 75th birthday. So how much more surprising is it that Hawkwind released a new studio album that year, an hour-long sci-fi concept effort based on a story by E.M.
The Upshot: Our reviewer gives it a “1” out of 5 possible stars, adding, “Maybe it’s time to stick a fork in this thing and call it a day.” Amen. Hawkwind keep lumbering along occasionally releasing a noteworthy record that remind us of their vital importance to psychedelic music. This record opens with a call to arms similar in tenor to the Michael Moorcock “Warriors on the Edge of Time” soliloquy from oh so long ago.