|Hawklords - Dream CD review
The excellent 'We Are One' was always going to be a hard act to follow, and a lot of people in with the band
had told me that 'Dream' was better, which always worries me, recalling similar things said about 'Onward'
and 'Blood of the Earth', neither of which I like much in comparison to other Hawkwind albums. I saw four
of the new tracks performed live at On Board The Craft on 7 September and like a lot of the audience I was
left wondering whether I liked them or not. The album is different from other Hawklords stuff and not like
Hawkwind at all, in fact I would hestitate to call it Space Rock. But it is good!
The opening track Dream a Dream starts with melodic riffs and swooshing synths before the vocals
eventually kick in, at which point the music changes drastically. It's a strong track, lyrics powerful but
repetitive. There was a taster on YouTube which was the intro from another track (White Rag) and the first
part of this song. In a way it works better as a shorter song as the vocals tend to meander off, however it
could have worked equally well with another verse. The ending is weak for an otherwise great song.
D.N.A. is a short strong track, harking on familiar themes for Ron Tree (all the tracks are jointly credited to
Hawklords but this has Ron's hallmarks all over it), 'the suits have took our dreams away', urban chaos and
mentions of tattooed skin.
Elemental Mind is a beautiful tune, melodic and with wonderful vocals. Still haven't worked out the
backwards vocals at the beginning though!
The fourth track Nowhere Everywhere is a true ballad, again with many of Ron's hallmarks, a post-punk
poem if you like. Jerry's guitar towards the end is almost country and western. Paul Hayles guests on this
one. Slow and melodic, a great album track but not a crowd pleaser for a live show.
After that we suddenly jump into a rocky dance number, I.D. Man. Funny how this, Secret Agent and Cold
War Kid can treat the same theme so differently. This fairly bounces along, no shortage of blanga on this
track, but in a way it is trying too hard to be boppy, with the sing along lyrics, especially the ending - all
together now I-D-E-N-T-I-T-Y! The raunchy guitar solo in the middle is good, although too short. Thereâ
€™s some social commentary in there too, if you look, but I like this track least on the album.
On the sleeve notes John Constable aka John Crow is co-credited with the next track, Nature's Dance,
although in the booklet he is credited with White Rag. It starts with jungle noises, swirling synths and
oscilators, then lead and bass guitars come in. The lyrics are deep and powerfully sung, with some beautiful
guitar work by Jerry and a powerful drum beat. Nature's Dance Coda, the next track, is really part two of
the same song though musically it is totally different. I wanted to dance to it straight away but it's less than
two minutes long. Great lyrics, like the previous track, on an ecological theme, with a bit of urban decay
thrown in for good measure. IMHO this is the track that reminds me most of Hawkwind and also the best
White Rag is an odd one, it starts with tinkley synths and drums before turning into musings of all the
possible symbolisms of a white rag to a heavy, punky back beat. After the first verse it suddenly goes a bit
jazz-funky. The next version pure spoken verse, with lots of mentions of trees (and a little giggle) - Ron or
John Crow's lyrics I can't tell, but it keeps haunting me. The last part, a repeated lyric, is sung with echoed
refrain from the rest of the band. They need to find a better ending to some of their songs instead of
Dead Air is a work of genius. It starts with backwards noises and the vocals are mutated and weird - I
can't work out who is singing but can only conclude it is Ade (or possibly Dave) because it isn't Ron, Jerry
or Harvey. The first time I heard it I thought it was horrible, the second time it had me in fits of giggles. I
will say no more except there's no danger of Hawklords getting pretentious.
The final track is the only live one but it's an amalgam of the intro from a gig in Berlin and the vocals from
Sonic Rock Solstice in 2012. If you haven't seen Hawklords live you need to know Jerry and Ron do an
impromptu dialogue which is never the same twice, the pair of them bouncing off each other. This one was
a classic, having been at the gig I can testify to how funny and good it was at the time. The sort of thing
that you afterwards wish you could remember properly - and here it is! The music starts properly and Ron
does an 'ignition check' bit so you could be mistaken for thinking it's going to be Ejection or Right Stuff but
it quickly becomes the very spooky number Psychic Eyes. Brilliant lyrics although I do find the line 'I stood
naked in a trance' a little distracting (calm down, Jane!), and a brilliant end to the album.
Overall, 'kin ace! 9/10
-Jane The Snail...photos are from On Board The Craft on 7th Sept 2013
This review and photos are by / courtesy of / (c)
Jane The Snail, to whom my grateful thanks...