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Dave Brock

Looking for Love in the Lost Land of Dreams

Review by Gary Hill

When you consider that Dave Brock kind of is Hawkwind – at least he’s the one guy who’s been in Hawkwind through every lineup change – it might seem that a Dave Brock solo album would be a lot like Hawkwind. That assumption is true to some degree, but this album stretches well beyond sounds that are typically associated with Hawkwind. Taken outside that context, though, it’s a solid disc with a diverse set of musical styles that still manages to stay cohesive and works well throughout. There are a couple tunes that feel like they’d fit on Hawkwind albums, but most of this seems in somewhat similar territory, but a bit removed. All in all, it’s quite a satisfying disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
World of Ferment

Atmospheric sounds start this and guitar rises up from there. The vocals are spoken. The guitar circles around in soloing patterns. In some ways this feels more like Pink Floyd than it does like Hawkwind.

A Lover’s Whim
Firing out with hard rocking sounds, this is more Hawkwind-like. Still, it’s a bit more stripped back and raw and has a combination of mellower and harder rocking motifs alternating. Again, I really like some of the guitar lines that run over the top. This is quite a diverse and dynamic cut and it works through quite a few changes. There’s even a mellow bit later that has some jazz-like keyboards while Hawk-like space sounds swirl about in the backdrop. That section ends the tune.
That Day in December

Mellow and atmospheric at the start, this does feel a lot like Hawkwind. It’s a short connecting piece.

Higher Plane

More of a rocker, this one definitely feels like it would fit on a Hawkwind album. The guitar playing and space-Hawk sounds both work really well. This is a soaring number that’s quite tasty. It does get some jazzy sounds later, though. Still, it’s merged with classic Hawkwind-like sounds.

Lazy Days

A fairly mellow cut, this has Hawkwind space rock in it, but somehow I’m also reminded of the psychedelic side of the Beatles. A jam ensues later that has a lot of Middle Eastern sounds in it. As it continues it works through a number of varying moods and modes. Again, it works out to jazzy sounds later. There’s a section beyond there that seems like it could have been lifted from the very first Hawkwind album. But, then it works to a jazz blues movement with some killer guitar soloing over the top.

Who Do You Think You Are?

Electronic weirdness opens this and it moves out to a rhythmic groove from there. There are elements of Hawkwind here, but also some definite electronic music sounds. From there it definitely evolves into a more standard Hawkwind like sound. It’s hard rocking, energized and quite space oriented all at the same time. There’s some spacey atmosphere at the end that segues into the next piece.

Sunrise Drive

Coming in with electronic space atmospherics, this is pretty. There are nature sounds in the background. A smooth jazz kind of vibe comes in as this works out, but it’s blended with more electronic space sounds. Cool layers of melodic guitar rise up and this starts to work out to more Hawkwind-like territory as the space keys swim on the sea of sound.

We Took the Wrong Step

This Hawkwind tune has always been of my favorites. Space elements open it here and the balladic styles are given a different kind of treatment on this rendition. I think I prefer the original, but you can’t complain about any version of this piece. Somehow there is more of a modern sound to a lot of this.

The Chief

This is awesome. There’s almost a surf music vibe to it, but mixed with more typical Hawkwind-like sounds and some serious crunch. It’s a bizarre, but very tasty number. It’s actually one of my favorite pieces on the whole disc and has parts that feel like cartoon music.

It’s Never Too Late

Here is another that definitely feels like it would fit on a Hawkwind album. It’s got a great groove and some killer musical textures. This is one of the highlights of the set. The harder rocking section later is particularly cool. As it continues out there are varying sections, some mellower and some harder edged. It’s some great space rock, that’s for sure.

Opaque

Set more in the mellow and electronic, but still quite energized, side of Hawkwind music, this is definitely another that would be at home on an album by the group. It’s a cool one.

Dreams

More Hawkwind like music in a lot of ways, there’s great guitar soloing all over the place. There are some parts of this that feel rather jazzy.

The Kiss

Now, this one would certainly be at home on a Hawkwind disc. It’s hard rocking, and just plain awesome. I’d say it’s one of the highlights of the set.

Ecstasy

Melodic, but not mellow, this space rock instrumental is another that feels like Hawkwind. It’s basically a transition piece and not exceptionally long. It does have a lot of energy.

Menace to Society

This comes in tentatively, with much more of a pure progressive rock feeling. It really builds somewhat symphonically. Then some blues builds in the background. When the vocals come in they are very distorted and rather strange in texture. By the point the music has really become space blues. There’s almost a Robert Johnson vibe to it, but mixed with Hawkwind-like space. It drops away leaving mellow space at the end.

Goodnight

Spacey dreamy weirdness with spoken vocals ends the set.

 

 
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