Hawkwind

Blood Of The Earth

Written by: TL on 02/03/2011 23:39:01

A fair warning dear user: Unlike most of my reviews, this one is probably not going to do its subject any justice, or be very good otherwise - not considering the flat out ridiculous task at hand. The subject is "Blood Of The Earth", the twenty-sixth album of UK dinosaurs Hawkwind. Studio album that is, seeing as the band also has no less than eleven live albums and twenty-two of something wikipedia calls 'archive albums', in their catalogue. Formed in 1969, the band is hailed as the pioneers of the space rock genre, and have been cited as an influene for, among others: Ministry, Monster Magnet, Sex Pistols and Henry Rollins. In comparison, Rockfreaks.net as you know it, has been around since 2004, and none, not a single writer of ours, knew enough about Hawkwind to want to review their album - which is why the article is some eight months delayed.

Let's assume though, that you readers are as blissfully ignorant when it comes to 70's space-rock as I am. In that case I could forget about Hawkwind's past and review them just like any other band. One problem though - They don't sound like any other band. In fact, save for increased production values, it is my guess that Hawkwind hasn't changed all that much over the years, because this certainly sounds like something that hasn't been influenced by any ideas from the last thirty years. Effectively, I'd say the music is based in the same acid-fueled, progressive aesthetics that got Pink Floyd going way back when, with droning rhythms marching on and on, providing a backbone to endless experimentation with guitar, ambiance, keyboards and various feedback sounds. Vocals are occasional, which is probably for the best, given that their appearance is mostly more strange than it is good.

To be honest, it boggles my mind that Hawkwind is still a band. Mostly because their music sounds like time has passed them by largely unnoticed, and I have trouble imagine a place so cavernous as to have people living in it, who are still honestly into this kind of stuff, as anything but either a curiosity or an antiquity. Personally, I can't tell if it's good or bad, because I have next to no frame of reference. Sure, there are moments in which I can tell that bands like Muse and Wolfmother have probably been inspired by Hawkwind at some point, but the traces are so vague that comparing them seems beyond unfair. There are moments of tranquility, in which "Blood Of The Earth" sounds like it could provide peaceful interludes to power-metal records, and those are fairly enjoyable. Mostly though, to the ears of any ignorant modern music fan, Hawkwind will just sound very, very strange. And the fact that this strangeness isn't exactly compelling me to spend more time on "Blood Of The Earth" than I have to, is pretty much the only thing I have to go by when it comes to grading the record. You could argue that this makes writing this review somewhat pointless, but I guess that can happen at times, when operating with our "review everything" policy.

Download: Green Machine, Prometheus
For The Fans Of: Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix,
Listen: myspace.com/hawkwindofficial

Release Date 19.07.2010
Eastworld Records

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