This may come as a complete surprise to some people, but this is the very first album by Hawkwind that I’ve ever listened to. Yes, I did just hear that sharp intake of breath thank you very much. Honestly, I’ve never been into the whole psychedelic rock thing, I find all a bit too trippy.
That said, being as I only actually started to ‘get’ Led Zeppelin only a few years ago, and Pink Floyd only around 10 years or so ago, after a long time thinking they were both not my bag, I thought I’d give this a go to see if my old age has broadened my musical spectrum.
Honestly I was quite surprised by how much I did like it. Yep it’s still very trippy, and would probably make a lot more sense if you were under the influence of some mind altering substance or other, not that anyone here would advocate such behaviour of course….
It does remind me a lot of some of Floyd’s earlier stuff and Peter Gabriel era Genesis, (not having any Hawkwind material to reference against), with melodic guitars, haunting vocals, and with some ‘spacey’ synth sounds. There are some faster tracks, which reminded me of classic punk, in fact Alien Sex Fiend spring instantly to mind. Yep this album certainly took me on a trip back in time. Some of the lyrics made absolutely no sense to me, but then lyrics don’t always have to make sense. A lot of Marc Bolan’s lyrics didn’t make sense, but the music was great. That’s the same thing here I think.
Overall, this is a trip down memory lane, with some great accompanying music. It’s a great ‘prog rock’ album, that can relax you one minute, with soothing, haunting, and beautiful music, and the next, pummelling you into submission with some great rock music. It’s certainly got a variety of stuff on it, and for me personally, it’s an album that I want to experience again. I’ve a feeling that I’ve missed out on some great music if this album is anything to go by, so I’ll be going out to get more Hawkwind that’s for sure. This album has really opened my ears, and honestly, I really like it, a lot.
“Onward” track listing:
02. The Hills Have Ears (guest guitarist: Huw Lloyd Langton)
03. Mind Cut
04. System Check
05. Death Trap
06. Southern Cross
07. The Prophecy
08. Electric Tears
09. The Drive By
10. Computer Cowards
11. Howling Moon
12. Right To Decide (bonus track)
13. Aerospace Age (bonus track)
14. The Flowering Of The Rose (bonus track)
15. Trans Air Trucking
16. Deep Vents
17. Green Finned Demon