Space Rock, I LOVE Space Rock and Spirit’s Burning are a bit of a who’s who of the genre. The albums are put together from a disparate group of over 45 musicians all overseen at a distance by American producer Don Falcone.

Let’s have a look on who is on this record and you’ll get an idea of what you are likely to be getting. Daevid Allen, Dave Anderson, Alan Davey, Paul Hayles, Jerry Richards, Nik Turner, Bridget Wishart, Robert Berry, Keith Christmas, John Ellis, Kev Ellis, Matt Malley, Nigel Mazlyn Jones, Pete Pavli, Ken Pustelnik, Billy Sherwood, Judge Smith, Steffe Sharpstrings, Cyrille Verdeaux, Steve Yorke… are all on the record and whilst it may be that some of the names there aren’t immediately recognizable, the bands they are involved with will be: Gong, Hawkwind, Bowie, Counting Crows, The Groundhogs, Here and Now etc. spirits_burning_starhawk_review

The album is a musical adaptation of the novel Starhawk by Mack Maloney which I’ve not actually read I’m sad to say, but never fear because you get a comic strip to give you the idea of what’s going on.

Musically Starhawk is a varied beast and as well as the more traditional space rock themes and styles, you’ve got jazzy interludes (Spaceships at The Starting Line), Bowiesque moments as in “We Move You” and it’s pretty trippy prog fare overall. It’s also a lengthy album with 17 tracks and 70 minutes. Personally I’d have preferred more of the head down space rock-out style to be present on this record, but the story telling element is important here and to get this across effectively I reckon that would have been a bit much, and so what we have in the main is a much more, to my mind, light-prog feel to the album with spacey undertones.Starhawk_comic

I’d like to see a Spirits Burning project where the musicians come together in one studio, but that’s sort of getting away from the idea of the project and so hats off for managing to pull together a credible sounding album in a novel and innovative way.

Stuart Smith

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