I’M not sure whether it is fair to refer to the Hawklords as a Hawkwind spin-off. The two bands will always be linked, obviously, because there is some correlation between members and, ofcourse, the original Hawklords were a creation of Hawkwind’s Dave Brock and Bob Calvert during a hiatus for the main music-making vehicle.
This version of Hawklords has made six critically-praised albums and carved out a path of their own.
So I think it is best to consider the Hawklords now on their own merits.
Six albums in and the group are still coming up with inspirational spacey rock music which makes them stand out from the crowd.
Apart from that, they’re probably sick of being referred to by the media as Hawkwind clones. So no more.
Having said that, on first hearing this album I thought I picked up many direct inspirations from Hawkwind. Opener Ghost In My Machine, for example, made me think of Hawkwind’s Quark, Strangeness and Charm album and Whisperer’s Downfall put me in mind of Dream Worker from 1980s Hawkwind.
But, on reflection, I was perhaps a tad unfair in this assessment. This is no Hawkwind tribute. Far from it, this album has plenty that is innovative and fresh.
Mind Crime, for example, is a rocky power punch and Nightside takes on a more electronic whimsical air, showing the range of the Hawklords.
Perhaps the album isn’t as rocky or metal overall as some past efforts but there is plenty of variety to appeal to a wide variety of tastes.
Hawklords fans will like it. Hawkwind fans will like it. Everyone should be happy that the space rock genre is being taken forwards.
The Hawklords — Harvey Bainbridge on synths and keyboards, Dave Pearce on drums, Jerry Richards on guitars and synth, Tom Ashurst on bass, with vocals shared by Bainbridge and Richards — are by all accounts a great band to see live and this new material will no doubt be a welcome addition to their set.
I think singer Ron Tree’s absence from the album is a shame. On previous efforts his vocals and writing had a positive and dramatic impact. He is said to be taking a break from the band, to “regenerate” apparently. I thought it was only Time Lords that could do that? Will he return as Ronette Tree?
Stranger things have happened in space rock...
Six is an enjoyable listen, a real brain boost, and something which should be savoured like a good wine. Cheers!