This arrived only a couple of hours ago and was immediately placed in the cd player. I’m a bit of a Hawkwind fan!
It’s a double CD and comes in a gatefold type case…very nice.
Track one kicks off proceedings and is Hawkwind at their riffing best and with the usual electronic twitters that Hawkwind are famous for over the top of the mix. It’s classic Hawkwind in style – what more can you say – and will appeal to those who have know the band for years. Track two is more of the same to be fair but with Richard Chadwick on vocals and a welcome return to Huw Lloyd-Langton on guitar.
For me track three is the stand out. Entitled Mind Cut, this is a Dave Brock penned tune and he plays all the instruments to be fair It’s much more chilled and modern feeling, but still unmistakably Hawkwind.
Track five is the well worn Death Trap and at first it’s a little odd not to hear it sung by Bob Calvert. It’s pretty true to the original version really and if you like that you’ll like this.
Tim Blake penned the next track, Southern Cross and as should be expected it’s a dreamy synth’ workout. It’s nice, it’s trippy in a new age style and is a great diversion from the head-down riff fest that precedes it. Great tune for the summer, laid back in the grass, eyes closed and mind wandering wherever the music takes you and it leads you gently into last 3 tracks of side one which are, in the main, more of the same only a bit more uptempo and with more prominent guitars and vocal.
Side two kicks off with the heavy riffing of Computer Cowards with its menacing vocal. To my mind this is the weakest tune on the album and could well have been omitted for all I care –perhaps I’ll grow to like it.
One of the things I’ve always liked about Hawkwind is their ability to go from one style of heavy tune into something completely different at the drop of a hat and all the little interludes they throw into their albums and there are a few “interludes” thrown in to the mix on Onward.
Oddly the bonus tracks are plonked in the middle of the second side and are Right to Decide, Aerospace Age and Flowering of the Rose. Right to decide is classic Hawkwind, Aerospace Age is an odd version of the Calvert classic which is a bonus I could have done without and The Flowering of the Rose is a long and meandering instrumental remake of Damnation Alley from the Quark Strangeness and Charm album and I like it a lot.
All in all Onward is a Hawkwind album and it will appeal to fans of most incarnations of the band. There is some good, there is some not so good. Taken as a whole it works very well I think, but in isolation a couple of the tunes are unlikely to ever make the “classic” status, though the album just may well do.