Hawkwind
In Your Area


2.0
poor

Review

by Matthew Hopkins USER (46 Reviews)
July 15th, 2013 | 8 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hawkwind do the bare minimum required for a new album.

Hawkwind – A trip through space, Part XXII, Who needs new material?

The year is 1999 and the people are afraid. They are afraid that the world will spontaneously combust as soon as the clocks strike midnight on December 31st 1999. But even if the world were to suddenly end in a blaze of fiery glory, there would still be Hawkwind. And they would still be releasing albums despite the slump of material production in the late 1990s.

In Your Area is the last album released by Hawkwind in the 1990s, gracing the shelves of music stores in the first few days of that year. It had taken two years to create due to a massive gap in between recording schedules. The first six tracks are live recordings, the last six tracks were made in the studio.

Hawkwind appeared on this album as:

Dave Brock – electric guitar, keyboards, vocals
Jerry Richards – electric guitar
Ron Tree – vocals, bass guitar
Richard Chadwick – drums
Captain Rizz – vocals
Crum (Julian Crimmins) – Keyboards

Hawkwind have always been a formidable force live, and the first half of the album is but a tiny snippet of that force. It has its pros and cons, the opening track 'Brainstorm' is a full of a mash of psychedelic excellence that sounds just as good now as it did thirty years ago. The song flows along into a reggae styled musical track led by Captain Rizz, which provides the unique experience of being one of the few space reggae rock songs in existence, as the track slips back and forth between reggae and space rock.

On the other hand, much of the live material comes from weaker albums, with three of the tracks coming from the Distant Horizons album. But Hawkwind show that playing them live is a whole different matter, pouring tonnes of energy and skill into the tracks. But it appears as though the band literally recorded the songs 'as is', with no studio touch up on any of the work. As such they sound quite muddled and the production on some of the tracks is rather poor.

Despite these issues, the live section of the album is an enjoyable experience. From the blasting space of 'Brainstorm', to the slower and more collected space ballad that is 'Love in Space'. All of this is helped by Captain Rizz adding reggae influences to a band that had already attempted to play every musical genre on the face of the earth. His hard Caribbean style rapping is a nice difference to the rest of the band. However this can occasionally sound repetitive or a little bit out-of-place if reggae is not your thing.

It is not until you reach the last twenty minutes of the album that you actually get some new material from the band, most of which is a let down. The song 'Your Fantasy' sounds eerily similar to 'Love in Space' even sharing a similar piano tune. The only truly stand out track to emerge from the album's second half is the eastern inspired track 'Hippie', which is one of the better Hawkwind tracks to emerge from the band during the 1990s.

This album has problems, and is definitely top-heavy as the music on the live tracks is much better than the studio tracks. Much of the energy that was on the earlier tracks has dissipated and the band sound as if they are performing on auto-pilot. Even the sweet guitar and piano work on the song 'Pairie' can't truly save them, because it is only three minutes long. The final tracks have nothing more to prove as Hawkwind beep and screech their way towards the end of the album in various forms of space sound.

In Your Area only has twenty minutes of new music, and only eight minutes of that is truly worth your time. As such, In Your Area is not a brilliant piece of work from a band that had been going for thirty years. The only true consolation is that the songs 'Hippie' and 'Pairie' are among the best material Hawkwind has ever released. But* their lack of new material in the 90s was really starting to show as the decade neared its end. Hawkwind appeared to have expired everything in their extensive tank of material. Would the new millennium change this? Or would the world explode as the clocks chimed the year to its close?



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
2.4
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
Hoppoman
July 15th 2013


719 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

That is all the Hawkwind done from 1970 - 1999. Only 2 decades to go!

Donchivo
July 15th 2013


573 Comments


huge props for doing this discog!!

never got beyond their classic stuff so far, which of the non-early/mid 70s records shall be checked out for sure?

Digging: Autopsy - Mental Funeral

Hoppoman
July 15th 2013


719 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Well, anything from the 70s is pretty good.

From the 80s, try Levitation and Chronicles of the Black Sword.

From the 90s Space Bandits is probably the only good thing.

Ignore the 00s.

From the 10s, Onward, Blood of the Earth and Stellar Variations.

Donchivo
July 15th 2013


573 Comments


thanks man, heard about levitation before and just read your space bandits review, so i ll go with them

btw as it seems that you dig Simon house i'll strongly recommend you to try out High tide, his former heavy psychedelic band. good, weird stuff!

Hoppoman
July 15th 2013


719 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

House was awesome, so I may have to add his music to my massive 'List of music that i have to obtain when I get the chance' list.

Donchivo
July 16th 2013


573 Comments


You should definitely, evil collaborations with guitarist Tony Hill on both of their albums... if you find, try the new remasters. alternative versions on there are very legit!

dante1991
July 16th 2013


622 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, Levitation should be your next go-to album. Blood of the Earth is a solid newer album too, not heard Onward yet.

Moonglum
July 26th 2017


25 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

In Your Area was one of the few later-day Hawkwind disks still available cheap when I discovered the band in 1999. Now it is a bit rare and often listed for around $30. It was not included in the Atomhenge reissues –they ended at the previous album Distant Horizons. This album is another hit and miss patchwork that should be no one’s introduction to the band. A half-live, half studio affair that feels cobbled together with no great forethought. Oddly, the artwork and notes in this package are first-rate. The live material is taken from the ’97 tour which was no standout as it lacked a killer rhythm section and had no overall theme to hold it all together. The recording quality of the live material is just fine, though the editing around Rat Race seems to be significant. These qualifiers aside, there is still some interesting and killer material to be found here.



Brainstorm / Hawkwind In Your Area starts things out strong. The space-rock drive of this classic is present right till the song morphs into the reggae portion (In Your Area). Some momentum is lost, but I like Captain Rizz’s delivery and though Hawkwind will never be a competent reggae band, this interlude is easy for me to take (others will hate it). A nice live version of Alchemy is next, it rocks hard. The Love In Space is just an intro edit to Rat Race and an outro edit. Rat Race is another Ron Tree attempt to update Bob Calvert’s sound. It has some potential but feels unfinished here. Aerospace Age Inferno and First Landing on Medusa (a reworking of The Awakening) are two excellent additions to a completest collection. The listener is then subjected to I Am A Reptoid which does nothing for me, sorry Ron.



The studio tracks start with the brief Nazca instrumental and moves right into this album’s strongest track: Hippy. This song is my favorite late 90s Hawkwind creation and has both drive (Ron’s bass work is strong on this one) and some interesting vocal work. This song makes the album a “must buy” for any Hawkwind fan as Hippy is not available anywhere else. Prairie is a strong instrumental that gives Jerry a nice space for his guitar work. The following three songs really showcase the eclectic and varied sides of Hawkwind. Diana Park feels like a Dave Brock solo piece, but it’s a good one.



So there you have it –a few good live tracks and a few interesting studio tracks with one killer song found nowhere else. It feels directionless as I suspect the band was a bit rudderless during this period –so an accurate product of the time. I’m glad to have it in my collection.

Digging: Hawkwind - Palace Springs



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