The space rock group Hawkwind are back with another album called All Aboard the Skylark. Benjamin Tapper takes a listen to this old, but new to him band.

The name of the record certainly isn’t the last of the sci-fi/space-age inspirations, with songs like Nets of Space and Last Man on Earth. The latter is an enthralling song which contradicts the subject matter which can be alluded to be sad and dejected. While sci-fiction is a large part of their identity, there are even some influences from pre-history within the record because of the tune 65 Million Years Ago. Which to those uninformed, I included, was the Cretaceous-Paleogene Extinction that, according to our friend Wikipedia, wiped out the 75% of life on earth. This is my pick of the best song on the record.

The classic rock group have been recording music ever since the 1960s and it is apparent when listening to Fresh Fondue, which is the first track on the record. The song sounds like it was straight out of the early 70s with tones of Deep Purple, which is not a bad thing in the slightest. The song even ends with a soundbite which was oddly similar to the one in The Whos’s bizarre song about Heinz Baked Beans from the record The Who Sell Out. With the singer asking, ‘what’s for tea darling?’ which the answer is, non-surprisingly, Fresh fondue.

I had never heard any of Hawkwind’s material before encountering this album and all I knew about them was their hard/prog rock reputation that incorporated space-age influences. While the first song does fall into that stereotype, the rest of the album delivers much more. Ultimately, this is a fantastic listen with the badass instrumentals taking precedence.

Score: 7.5/10

Benjamin Tapper

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