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HAWKWIND - All Aboard The Skylark (2 CD)

(Code: 19827)
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HAWKWIND - All Aboard The Skylark (2 CD)Satisfying return to their space rock roots plus bonus disc of unplugged takes on best-loved tracks
Format: CD / Cat No: CDBRED782 / Released: 04/11/2019

Track Listing: CD 1: All Aboard The Skylark: 1. Flesh Fondue / 2. Nets of Space / 3. Last Man On Earth / 4. We Are Not Dead...Only Sleeping / 5. All Aboard The Skylark / 6. 65 Million Years Ago / 7. In The Beginning / 8. The Road To… / 9. The Fantasy Of Feldum

CD 2: Acoustic Daze: 1. Psi Power / 2. Hymne To The Sun / 3. The Watcher / 4. Generation Sun / 5. Micro Man / 6. Into The Night / 7. Down Through The Night / 8. Flying Doctor / 9. Get Yourself Together / 10. Ascent Of Man / 11. We Took The Wrong Steps Years Ago

More information: With 30-odd studio albums already to their name, All Aboard The Skylark shows the original psychedelic-punk-crusty masters crossing their 50 year in rude health. Released alongside Acoustic Daze – unplugged takes on some of the band’s most beloved tracks – Skylark is immense fun and a satisfying return to their space rock roots.

Skylark pretty much has it all. The album begins with Flesh Fondue, a characteristically gruesome-funny tale of space aliens feasting on the flesh of those they colonise. Last remaining original member Dave Brock serves up a typical slice of tripped-out guitar and laconic vocals, while Richard Chadwick clatters out a drum groove. This is followed up with Nets Of Space, which takes the album ever further towards the territory the Hawks so memorably defined on albums such as In Search Of Space.

However, it is the following trinity of tracks that truly conjure the days when the Hawks might be found playing from the back of a truck in a field in Somerset. Last Man On Earth oozes psychedelic cool, while We Are Not Dead… Only Sleeping is a reminder of the Hawks’ gift for trippy jazz. The title track is the stuff of acid dreams, that soars so deliciously it’s hard not to start crazy-dancing like it’s 1973. Equally irresistible is the nine-minute The Fantasy Of Faldum, based on a Herman Hesse fairy tale. As Brock sings, ‘Everything passes away in time, everything grows old,’ it’s difficult not to hear it as a wistful comment on the band’s future.

Accompanying acoustic bonus disc Acoustic Daze is reminder of how – behind the swirling keys, ramped-up guitars and special effects – classic Hawkwind could write a damn fine tune. Tracks such as Psi Power and Down Through The Night genuinely hold their own in these stripped-back arrangements. It is a fitting tribute to 50 years of often underappreciated songwriting.