British space rock gurus HAWKWIND have been churning out psychedelic jams since 1969. Mainstay vocalist/guitarist Dave Brock has been in the band since the beginning, steering the ship. An early formation of HAWKWIND included one Lemmy Kilmister, pre-Mötörhead, at the height of their success around 1973. The band has been through a million members and counting, it seems.
The band's image and sci-fi concept, often working with famous sci-fi/ fantasy author Michael Moorcock, is ever-present on Blood of the Earth, their first studio album in four years. The vocals are not very strong or mixed well, but they are relevant to the sound HAWKWIND are going for. The songs have some new elements added for a modern spacey sound with compact songs. There are a few lengthly jams, but they are not as drawn out as on earlier HAWKWIND releases.
As you imagine yourself floating through space without a care in the world, trippy instrumental "Green Machine" takes you on an emotional ride. Dominant keyboard electronics and distorted, fuzzbox guitar soloing guide "Inner Visions." The spacey "Comfy Chair" takes you to a certain moody comfort zone with its acoustic guitar and violin interludes and organ and synth sounds. "Prometheus" has an Arabian flavor that takes you back to the '70s like you're on a KING CRIMSON acid trip. The MOODY BLUES harmonies slip in from time to time as well. There also are new versions of "You'd Better Believe It" and "Sweet Obsession."
This is a cool album, and it’s not just a ride on a wave of nostalgia.
Even though HAWKWIND has been around for over 40 years, Blood of the Earth is an enjoyable spacey album with modern elements that keep it interesting.