Written by: BV on 17/10/2013 21:48:37

Well, the inevitable would have to happen sooner or later; veteran space rockers Hawkwind are back with a ’new’ album yet again to follow up on last year's "Onward". When I say ‘new’, I do so with a certain bit of skepticism as Hawkwind are most known to me for two things these days: numerous line-up changes and a slight tendency to re-work songs and release them on new albums – effectively avoiding the “best of” label, whilst keeping the ‘current’ releases going. Their newest effort, “Spacehawks”, is not that different from this particular formula as one could have hoped for.

For instance, the second track on the album, “Assault & Battery”, is something most Hawkwind fans will have heard before – albeit in a slightly different version. Why so, does Hawkwind insist on releasing it in a new version? Well, the general layout of this album seems to be one of a summarizing nature. - A marker on where Hawkwind are now, and what their general goals seem to be. Is such a release really necessary though?

The introduction of the Hawkwind classic “Master of the Universe” states a clear no. Even though this reworking sounds fresh, exciting and all that, it seems rather hard to justify a continued stream of re-released tracks due to the fact that the current Hawkwind lineup sees it fit to do so, because they have jammed their way through it differently than they used to. On the brighter side though, a track like “We Took the Wrong Step” (which is from a David Brock solo album) seems overly welcome here, adding a truly fresh sound to the sonic attacks of Hawkwind anno 2013. Instead of reworking classic Hawkwind material, the reworking of the members’ solo projects seems far more endearing at first glance.

However, I do find myself able to forgive Hawkwind when re-workings are as successful as that of the neo-classic “Sunship”, which was actually only available on the vinyl version of “Blood of the Earth” from 2010 – effectively making it a new(ish) track to the Hawkwind fans that have yet been reluctant towards partaking in the amassing of vinyl records.

In short, I still find the necessity of a release like this to be almost non-existent. I can’t blame them for doing so, but I don’t think it is all that necessary, nor relevant for a band that has spanned a lifetime of 40 years – they have already proven what they need to prove, and a continued stream of releases like this one might eventually serve to tarnish their reputation. The die-hard Hawkwind fan might find this endearing, but a casual one like myself would probably find it superfluous.


Download: Sunship, Lonely Moon, It’s All Lies
For The Fans Of: post-1980’s Hawkwind
Listen: facebook.com

Release Date 28.10.2013
Eastworld Recordings

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