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Chaos Rocks

Review by Gary Hill

Hawkestrel is a project led by Alan Davey. Davey is probably best known as having been the bassist for Hawkwind for quite a few years. Since leaving that band he has taken part in other projects. This disc features a number of guest musicians, some of whom are no longer with us. Those include a number of his fellow Hawkwind albums including Ginger Baker, Bob Calvert, Simon House, Huw Lloyd-Langton, Mick Slattery and Nik Turner. Yes' Geoff Downes appears on one song. Mick Taylor of Rolling Stones fame is also a guest on the album as are Carmine Appice, Helios Creed and William Shatner This is quite an effective set of classic, yet fresh, space rock.

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Track by Track Review
Near Earth Asteroid
Space ambience is heard as this gets started. Electronic in nature, this remains mellow, but works through some changes as it evolves. It an effects-laden instrumental piece with some weird, almost whale song sounds in it. This is strictly an Alan Davey solo number.
Evil Rock (2023 AD)
Starting trippy, this quickly shifts out to a punky space rock type rocking jam. There is almost an old-school rock and roll element at play here in some ways. Bob Calvert's vocals are featured here. Mick Taylor provides the lead guitar. Everything is was done by Davey.
Kinnikinnick Special
This instrumental is classic Hawkwind-like space rock. It's so cool and classic. Helios Creed provides the lead guitar, while Alan Davey does everything else.
Silver Machine
The musical mix on this is very much aligned with the original Hawkwind version of the track. Shatner's vocals with their echoey, spoken delivery, work on this take of the piece. This is a rocking, noisy version of the track that would have fit well on a Hawkwind album. Carmine Appice handles the drums, but other than the vocals Davey does everything else on the song.
Chaos Rocks
The title track is unexpected and so cool. Combine Hawkwind space rock with a cool jazz jam, and you'll have an idea of the concept on this instrumental piece. The bass work on it is on fire, but everything here just works so well. There are some intriguing twists and turns built into the track. There are some definite Hawkwind nods in some of the music here, and they pack a lot into a piece of music that's only a little more than four minutes long.  The musicians on this track are Davey, Nik Turner, Simon House, Mick Slattery and Nico Leophonte.
Walking The Wheel
Spacey keyboards get this underway. Trippy, distorted vocals are heard fairly deep in the mix, just doing the title a couple times. A violin plays over the top for a time. This continues to explore space before eventually working out into more of a rocking kind of arrangement to continue. More, vocals, still understated, emerge. Then the track explodes into soaring space rock jamming from there. Simon House provides violin, and Huw Lloyd-Langton's lead guitar is featured. Davey is responsible for everything else on the track.
2019 OK
Space rock jamming is the order of business here. The saxophone wailing (Nik Turner) over the top brings plenty of jazz to the proceedings. This is another solid instrumental. Beyond Turner's saxophone and Mick Slatter's guitar, the track is all Davey.
Class One Kid

Trippy electronics get things started here. This drives out hard rocking and classy. It's classic sounding space rock and a great way to end the album proper. Mick Taylor's lead guitar is matched with Nik Turner's saxophone and Simon House's violin. Everything else on the song was done by Davey himself.

Bonus Tracks:
Opa Loka

The sound of waves are heard as this cover of Hawkwind gets underway. Alan Davey does everything on this track except for the flute, which was played by Nik Turner.

Now I'm Feeling Zombified
Hard-edged and seriously rocking, this still has plenty of space rock built into it. Geoff Downes played both mellotron and lead guitar on this track. Nik Turner's sax and drumming by Adam Hamilton are also included. Beyond that, it's all Davey.
Dangerous Visions
I've always loved this Hawkwind song. The vocals on this version make me think of early King Crimson - feeling a bit like Greg Lake or John Wetton. Musically, this is largely faithful. Still, there are some different textures bringing a freshness to it. I really like this interpretation of the tune a lot. Again, Davey does just about everything on this. The exceptions are the vocals by Danny Faulkner and drumming of Ginger Baker.
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