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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Kev Ellis

Space Cadet

Review by Gary Hill

If you like space rock in general and Hawkwind in particular, you are sure to love this disc. Kev Ellis has worked with a number of acts, including Spirits Burning. He’s a talented guy and has produced a strong release. It all fits together well and yet there is enough variety to keep it interesting.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Guiding Light

Effects and ambience start this song. It rises up very gradually, remaining more textural than melodic for about the first minute or so. Then some melody starts to climb upward. Before the two minute mark it gets a more driving rock rhythm, feeling a lot like Hawkwind. The vocals come in with a more rock meets space sound. There is a cool blues meets Hawk-styled jam section later. Although it works back out to the song proper after a time, that blues element (definitely feeling a bit like early Led Zeppelin) returns at the end. Then it drops away leaving just space music to take it to the closing.

Celebrate the Day
While the opener had a lot of Hawkwind influence, much of this feels like it could be Hawkwind. A flute driven instrumental section later brings more hippie sounds, but otherwise this is quite Hawk-like.
Resting Heart
This is a much mellower piece. The keyboard is the main element here. It’s like Hawkwind music merged with psychedelia. It’s also quite cool.
Super Cosmic Space Age Baby
Bouncy, energized psychedelic rock is the order of business on this one. It makes me think of early Pink Floyd quite a bit, but with some blues and some Hawkwind added to the mix. It’s a lot of fun.
Emerald Eye
Although this is more of a mainstream, slow rock song, there are other elements at play here, too. Sure, the psychedelia is prominent and this really feels like the kind of thing that would have been at home in the early 1970s or late 1960s. The Hawkwind elements only really remain in some of the keyboard sounds over the top of this thing. The jam later with harmonica is awesome.
Sunrise Pagan Bop
Blues rock, Hawkwind and psychedelia merge nicely on this piece. It’s hard edged and tasty. It’s also quite fun. Early Pink Floyd would be a fair reference point here, too. The harmonica jamming on this is again quite classy.
Time Reflection
This mellow piece is fairly short and feels like Kraftwerk meets Hawkwind.
Ancient Flight
A higher energy jam, this is quite Hawkwind-like. The bluesy harmonica section later is tasty.
Morning Raga
Somehow this makes me think of what you might get it Hawkwind covered Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan.” I’ll bet it would be pretty close to this. It’s a slow moving mellow number that evolves gradually and slowly. There seems to be a bit of The Beatles’ “Inner Light” here, too. There is definitely a trance-like vibe to this.
 
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