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Pioneers of Space

Review by Gary Hill

Alan Davey is the man who is most responsible for Hawkestrel. It's basically his baby. You might know Davey from his tenure with Hawkwind. Since then he's been involved in a lot of projects, though. This is just one that he has underway at the moment. This has a space rock Hawkwind kind of vibe to much of it, but perhaps a bit less than the last album I reviewed from this act did.

Just like last time, there are a lot of guest performers here. Three of the performances here are posthumous, built around older recordings from the artists. Those are Ginger Baker, Robert Calvert and Huw Lloyd Langton. All of three of them were also in Hawkwind at various times. Other Hawkwind alums on the set include Arthur Brown, Simon House,  Michael Moorcock, Paul Rudolph, Mick Slattery, Nik Turner and Bridget Wishart. Other musicians on the album include former Rolling Stone Mick Taylor, Adam Hamilton (of LA Guns fame), Todd Rundgren, L. Shankar, David Cross, Larry Wallis, Carmine Appice and Wayne Kramer. Even Davey's dogs Josie and Wyatt made the album, credited for howls and barks on one song.

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Track by Track Review
Trippy elements bring the album in from nothingness. The cut drives in with a hard-rocking Hawkwind-like jam. The number works to a mellower jam with flute over the top later along the road. It gets very spacey during that movement with weird female vocalizations added to the mix.  The song comes out of there with a jam that really feels like it could have easily come from the early period of Hawkwind. It's driving, powered up and so cool. They continue reinventing the piece and working it through various sections and sounds.
Cosmic Divide
A mellower number, this is built around a Robert Calvert vocal. The number has some cool space elements at its heart. I think in a lot of ways this has more of a folk rock number at its core. This is not one of my favorites here, but it works pretty well.
Day Of The Quake
The quirky kind of almost punky jam on which this is built is so cool. This has a real definite Hawkwind vibe in place. This is driving and really tasty. Saxophone soloing later in pretty crazed. There are some catchy hooks when this works back out into the song proper.
Glass Wolves
Starting mellower and a bit strange, this works out to another screaming hot rocker as it continues. Arthur Brown provides the vocals on this. It's quirky and a full-on classy space rocker.
Atmospheric Window
This comes in mellower and works out to more driving space rock after the first vocal movement.  Those vocals are delivered by Michael Moorcock. The bass really drives this thing, but the whole thing jams like crazy.
There are definitely 1960s psychedelic rock sounds built into this thing. The cut drives with a good energy and groove.
No Doubt
A much harder rocking tune, this still has plenty of space rock in it. There are some cool melodic shifts and movements here. This is screaming hot stuff. It does drift to mellower zones at the end of the piece.
More of a mainstream rocking piece, this still has plenty of space rock over the top of it. There is a bouncy kind of groove to the song.
Pioneers Of Space
There is a cool electronic space groove at the start of this. The cut drives out with harder rocking space music that has killer keyboards and violin built into it. This instrumental is a classy way to end the set in style.
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