Review Summary: Hawkwind release twenty minutes of material stretched over an hour. Hawkwind – A trip through space, Part XVIII, It is the Business of the future to be Boring.
Hawkwind had something of a mid life crisis during the 1990s. As such, Business is the hastily acquired motorbike and leather jacket of a beer bellied balding man in his late forties. Whilst trying to sound new, fresh and improved, Business ends up being a rather extravagant, but expensive love affair. However, everything about this album just isn't right, and the end result is very long winded and repetitive.
On this album Hawkwind are:
Dave Brock – guitar, keyboards, vocals
Alan Davey – bass guitar, vocals
Richard Chadwick – drums, vocals
Hawkwind has always been something of a transformer, struggling greatly with the massive cosmic forces at their command. On one side they have the rock genre which has always been dear to them. Dave Brock's original idea was for a simple rock band that played spacey bits. But on the other side of the band is that space part proper. Untapped cosmic energies that ebb and flow with great and untapped power.
What Hawkwind attempted on Business was bold indeed. They attempted to fuse together the rock, techno, space, post and ambient genres together to form one massive monstrosity. But unfortunately for the band this attempt ending with utmost failure, and it has to, unfortunately be put down.
The beginning of the album is decent enough, the self titled 'It is the Business of the Future to be Dangerous' is full of interesting noise, and the song flows well into the second track 'Space is Their (Palestine)' but already, it is possible to see the cracks forming in this otherwise good album.
To put it bluntly, just like space is full of empty holes with the occasional star system sprinkled like food on a fancy restaurant's plate, Business is built the same way. 'Space is Their' has this catchy little Middle-Eastern styled keyboard part to it, and it sounds good, until you realise that they have actually played the same part roughly fifteen times, one after the other. That is the biggest weakness to the album, there isn't anything bad to be found here, it's just that you have to actually find something in the first place.
It's not until you reach the space rocker 'Letting in the Past' that the album actually starts to become interesting. It is a very sweet little song, with Brock grinding away on his guitar whilst Chadwick and Davey blast away with the rhythm section. This song marks the start of a complete change of sound for the album, going from ambient/space/techno rock to simple space rock, and the sound is so much better for it. This change continues into the song 'The Camera that Could not Lie' and you finally feel as though the album is getting somewhere.
What Hawkwind attempted is ultimately, very boring. While the album has plenty of good parts to it, they are simply too far apart to be enjoyable, the track 'Space is Their' had potential to be an excellent space rock song, if it wasn't so drawn out and excessively long. The same can be said for the entire first half of the album, and it isn't until the second half that things begin to pick up, but it is already too late by then. There isn't anything bad on this album, the music isn't terrible, the guitar work is decent, the bass guitar works and the drummer isn't pulling any punches. But there is just too few of these good moments to go around, and the result suffers accordingly.
The two sides of Hawkwind continue to go spiraling around in circles, the space side going much more ambient and techno, and their rock side sounding much more spacey. The end result is not very good, space side and rock side are bickering over their offspring like a pair of divorced parents and are not really taking their child's best interests into account. Which truly is a shame because there was, as always, so much potential writing into the work. Even a rather unique cover of 'Gimme Shelter' cannot save her now.