[Review] Hawkwind – All aboard the skylark

Hawkwind certainly needs no introduction, from the top of its 32 studio albums, during its 50-year career. One detail must be specified, Dave Brock led the band on this album, at the age of 78, with the freshness of the golden age. “All Abroad The Skylark” was released on October 25, 2019 via Cherry Red Records on LP, CD and Digital Download, with some copies on 2xCD with a bonus disc “Acoustic Daze.” The opener “Flesh fondue” with its tight rhythm, solid bass lines and a vocal with particular themes immediately plunges us into a great disc. The intergalactic meat intake is the center of the lyrics, the song is energetic with the guitar and the protagonists voice, there is no pause and the intensity increases in the end. “Nets of space” is dominated by the atmosphere of synths with a deep bass and a rhythm with tribal flavors, catapulting us for 3 minutes on a journey like only they can do. “Last man on earth” is softer acoustic shells and a more melodic vocal, the keyboards create an excellent background. With the entrance of the sax the song takes off on another level, making us return to the magical years of the band. One of the best moments on the album, a very inspired track. “We are not dead … Only sleep” is characterized by a bass synth that creates a gloomy spatial atmosphere, the vocal played and the deep bass lines do the rest. In the instrumental section, a piano creates excellent inserts, a full piece with a spatial atmosphere. “All aboard the skylark” is the track that titles the album, with synth and sax reverberating, and a hypnotic bass that supports the rhythmic session. With the passage of the song the intensity increases, intricate and with piano and sax to enhance the sound, the class of Hawkwind reveals itself in all its splendor. “65 million years ago” is characterized by a powerful vocal and more electronic and powerful sounds. The synth takes the scene, penetrating and dark, with the guitar drawing sharp inserts. “In the beginning” is a spatial synth interlude, a 2-minutes passage that guides us to the following Track. “The road to …” has a more linear rhythm, powerful synths and keyboards with intertwined acoustic and electronic traits. The softer and more dreamy moments alternate with other stronger ones and in the end it ends with a very pleasant piano melody. “The fantasy of feldum” is the longest song on the album, before catapulting us into the Hawkwind‘s universe, a more acoustic intro opens this fantastic piece. With a perfect transition everything changes, immersing yourself in the sound atmospheres of a genre of which the group is a pioneer and one of the greatest exponent. Constant time changes, melodies, atmospheres, hypnotic basses and rhythms drawn with guitars and keyboards distinctive of the gold sound. This song summarizes the album, as well as closing in style and beauty. That Hawkwind are synonymous with Space was known, this album confirms it in the best way. In addition, they are organizing a tour to celebrate 50 years of career, and given the state of form of the band it will be fun. On the album where Hawkwind show character, quality and energy, as well as their characteristic sound without being the copy of themselves, difficult after 32 albums, they have succeeded with class.

Tracklist (Disc 1)

01.Flesh Fondue5:03
02.Nets Of Space3:03
03.Last Man On Earth5:01
04.We Are Not Dead… Only Sleeping3:21
05.All Aboard The Skylark5:26
06.65 Million Years Ago4:11
07.In The Beginning2:00
08.The Road To…5:13
09.The Fantasy Of Faldum9:15

Tracklist (Disc 2) Acoustic Daze

01.Psi Power5:16
02.Hymn To The Sun2:49
03.The Watcher4:54
04.Generation Door0:41
05.Age of the Micro Man5:08
06.Intro The Night2:11
07.Down Through The Night6:12
08.Flying Doctor5:47
09.Get Yourself Together7:00
10.Ascent Of Man5:04
11.We Took The Wrong Step Years Ago3:53

Lineup

Dave BrockVocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Synthesiser, Harmonica
Magnus MartinVocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Viola
Niall HoneBass Guitar (Disc 1)
Richard ChadwickDrums, Percussion, Vocals

With

Michal SosnaSaxophone (“Last Man On Earth”, “All Aboard The Skylark”, “Get Yourself Together”, “Ascent Of Man”)
Haz WheatonBass Guitar (Disc 2)
Mr Dibs (Jonathan Darbyshire)Vocals (“Flying Doctor”), backing vocals (“Get Yourself Together”, “Ascent Of Man”, “We Took The Wrong Step Years Ago”)

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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