Hawkwind: ‘Alien 4’

0
1195

As ever, original space rockers Hawkwind go where nobody has gone before, not because of any particular enterprise, but perhaps because they don’t care if everybody else just thinks they are off their collective rockers.

This is a science fiction concept album in support of the oppressed people of the planet earth. (Does this sound a little pretentious to you? Well it is, but I’m sure that the boys have got their collective hearts in the right place).

The music starts off with the arrival of the flying saucer to abduct our hero away, to find out why the human race is so hell-bent on self destruction. This of course makes for total confusion amongst the aliens, leading us into a wondrous journey through the music of Hawkwind.

The earthling attempts to return to earth without blowing everybody’s minds, and what a journey it is. After the rejection of all things alien we are whisked into “Blue Skin” territory where the multiple layers of vocals, synths, keyboards, and wave sequencers, sooth our worried brows before being propelled forward for more adventures, including the hilarity of a song called “Beam Me Up” (surely self-explanatory), and a meeting with the urban space dustbin man Sputnik Stan (well presumably it’s a job that somebody will have to do in the future, good tips in space at Christmas I hope).

We’re finally bought back to a festival where the first band on the stage are Hawkwind, so the album finishes with the first 3 songs of Hawkwind’s live set from 1996, leaving you with the final song “Are You Losing Your Mind”, which couldn’t be more apt, and has brought you full circle.

Confused yet? You should be and if you’re not you’ve obviously lost the plot and picked it up at the wrong spot.

This was a magnificent return to form by Hawkwind and is the first studio album to feature Ron Tree on vocals and in true Hawkwind fashion he virtually takes over, dominating most of the songs. He was fired by Captain Dave Brock the following year, but such is the life of a Hawklord. Bring back Nik Turner I say.

If you want to go into cosmic interstellar overdrive and you’re never sure whether to wag your tail or nod your head, then this is the album for you.

Mott the Dog rating: 4 Stars

Dave Brock of Hawkwind.
Dave Brock of Hawkwind.

Hawkwind:

Dave Brock – guitar, vocals, keyboards, synths, FX

Alan Davey – bass guitar, vocals, synths, wave sequencing, FX

Richard Chadwick – drums, percussion

Ron Tree – vocals

Track List:

Abducted

Alein (I am)

Reject Your Human Touch

Blue Skin

Beam Me Up

Vega

Xenomorph

Journey

Sputnik Stan

Kapal

Festivals

Death Trap

Wastelands

Are You Losing Your Mind?