Hall of the Mountain Grill
As the fourth album for psychedelic space rock outfit Hawkwind, the sound had been focused to a standard listeners could accept as theirs. Forming abstract pulse driven riff based rock with floating melodies which cling on to odd bars between their frolics of bounce, the band represents a generation of mind bending perception busting free thinkers. There are strong sci-fi themes in the delivery, the album art itself shows a spaceship rising from the surface of some ancient alien world.
The hard rock opener namely The Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear in Smoke), brings the thrashing rhythms straight to the listener, progressive rock with a heavy first offering sets a tone for a high energy ride. The swirl out which follows brings about the next track after a moment of near silence, strange sounds of landscapes ravaged by winds give way to an organ that sings a sullen tune that sets a tone for something more down to Earth.
Wind Of Change is a classic stand alone number that makes the band stand out as a great giver of feeling and far out melodrama which brings ever changing visuals to the closed eye motion picture we all see. A soundtrack for powerful, emotive colour and shape, the music swings by in a flight across a scenic soundscape of atmosphere and composition. As the melody progresses, a crescendo of instruments touching on Celtic themes pile up to silence, revealing the one organ again which links in to D-Rider, track three.
A space-age effects processor allows the vocal to become vibrant and robotic, and the words tell stories of fantastic happenings. As the chorus breaks like a wave on the shore, culminations of voice, guitar, and key matched with heavy drums push the throttle down to full power. Helical formations of twirling sounds spin over each other, moving the feel from anticipation to charged and full on forward, the loop spins round again and again, revealing the energy of the track each time with a new direction.
An epic album, tracks relate to each other in ways that allow them to flow as one or to stand by themselves as pieces of music. The original sounds of the groups earlier days come back to life through the progression of the first handful of futuristic mixes, fresh acoustic guitar and piano make homely additions to the cosmic and magical sounding layers that run throughout the entire thing. Up beat and catchy, the album works as a great reminder as to why this band need to be enjoyed more often.
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