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Hawkwind - Blood of the Earth

by Kevin Wierzbicki

If you think these guys aren't grizzled veterans just take a look at their group picture. Original guitarist and singer Dave Brock will turn 70-years-old in 2011 and longtime drummer Richard Chadwick is right there with him. The rest of the band is a little younger but if you saw these guys walking down the street you wouldn't be out of line to think that the retirement home was having some type of field trip. Of course with their long hair, these guys still look like rockers and they most definitely act like rockers too. Hawkwind has played almost every type of rock in their forty-plus year career but their specialty is space-rock and that's what you'll hear on Blood of the Earth. Lead-off track "Seahawks" sets the albums tone; the song sounds like something you might hear in a film, maybe when a space traveler wakes up from a long journey and looks out the ship's window to see a strange but wonderful new world for the first time. There are no harsh sounds here; even when the band launches into a heavier space-metal groove for the (ex-member) Lemmy-approved "Wraith" there's an effervescent vibe present. Longtime fans will love the fact that a rerecorded version of the super-oldie "You'd Better Believe It" from 1974's Hall of the Mountain Grill is tucked into the song sequence as is a new version of Brock's "Sweet Obsession," originally from his 1984 solo album Earthed to the Ground. As has been the case with most of Hawkwind's output there are no hit singles here; this is music for the head meant to be heard all the way through. Hawkwind isn't quite ready to be consigned to the "old folks" home just yet; I'm sure that someday they'd love to be the first band to play on Mars.

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