June 19, 2024

Hawkestrel – ‘Chaos Rocks’ – “much more fun than it has any right to be”

CLEOPATRA RECORDS – 12th April 2024

Hawkwind was always a strange, shifting conglomeration of comings, goings and side-projects. A bit like their more acid-tinged co-travellers in Gong. With way over fifty people that have performed in the band, there are many who can lay claim to the mantle and the spin-offs have been many. Cleverly, Cleopatra Records have commissioned this album from an assembly of those people, alongside a few regular Cleopatra stalwarts (I’m talking about you, William Shatner). It looks like Alan Davey has taken the lead, as he seems to have a lot of old tapes stashed under his bed, hence his ability to summon up Robert Calvert and Huw Lloyd-Langton from the other side of the grave.

The result is as you’d expect but better. Not like Hawkwind at their peak but better than plenty of releases from points where Hawkwind lost their way. Current Hawkwind are very much worth your time (see our live review) but, as too much is never enough, this will please space-rock adepts. It all churns along nicely in a rolling hard rock way and guest musicians like Helios Creed add credibility to the project. For many, William Shatner’s ‘Silver Machine’ will be a highlight. It seems to be vocals from a previous project but remixed to add repeats, over dubs and a certain excitement amongst the over-acting. Nik Turner’s sax turns up – again from the spectral ether – to embelish the title track. ‘Chaos Rocks’ is a highlight, with cross-cutting rhythms and really exciting bass joining a hurtling piece of space-rock, followed by a soaring ‘Walking The Wheel’ and a thunderously racing ‘Class One Kid’.

Elsewhere, The Rolling Stones’ Mick Taylor adds guitar to a couple of tracks to solid effect and even Ginger Baker is resurrected for a bonus track. Given that there are plenty of re-workings of old tracks and pieces built around historic tapes, this is much more fun than it has any right to be and will genuinely bring a smile to the face of any grizzled Hawk-veteran or fresh-faced fan of hard rock.


Hawkestrel – “The Future Is Us” and the Hawk universe will go on forever



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