Review Summary: Less space rock, but more spacey in style. Doremi Fasol Latido is the beginning of the classic era for Hawkwind. Hawkwind – A trip through Space, Part III A Change In Style.
Change is big, but more importantly for Hawkwind was the fact that change was common. And change doesn't get any bigger than this. After 'X' the lineup changed once more, the drummer and bassist both decided that enough was enough and left the band. Dik Mik, always darting back and forth also left for three months, but he returned with something that would change the style and music of the band entirely. A man by the name of Ian Kilmister, or Lemmy.
That's right, before Lemmy became the lead man of Motorhead, he was a simple guitarist doing amphetamines with Dik Mik, who liked him so much that he brought him back to the band. As Hawkwind was in need of a bassist he learnt how to play on the fly, and his chugging bass lines would change the sound of Hawkwind entirely. They also found a new drummer, who would fit perfectly with this sound. On this album Hawkwind is.
Dave Brock – 6 and 12 string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals
Nik Turner – saxophone, flute, vocals
Lemmy – bass guitar, acoustic guitar and vocals
Dik Mik – Synthesizer
Del Dettmar – Synthesizer
Simon King – drums
The feel to Doremi is much different to Hawkwind's previous outings. 'Brainstorm' starts out with a rumbling bass line that sounds like it could be a distorted guitar. Moments later the drums kick in with a brilliant pace and style that keeps up for the entire opening song.
Hawkwind on this album is far more rockier than on their first two. Lemmy doesn't feel like a bassist instead he feels like the second guitarist the band had been missing. In addition Simon King is more of a rock drummer than the previous ones. This doesn't mean that Del and Dik are left out on this album, the space feel is still very much there, especially during the jam that takes up the middle section of the song.
'Space is Deep' begins differently, more simple than 'Brainstorm' with a single acoustic guitar and whirling electrical noises from the synthesiser department. Finally the rest of the band kick in with a brilliant jam that fills the middle section. The drum and bass whirl and twirl on a dance of death before finally ending up where they began, with a simple, quaint acoustic outro.
The second half of the album begins with a harsh electrical distortion, with both the synthesisers pumping away until that chugging bass comes back in again. 'Lord of Light' contains some of the best lead-bass guitar that you will ever see, Lemmy takes you on a trip that blasts you up and down and throws you side to side. He is the main course on this album, finally pushing away the synthesisers that had dominated their earlier works. He leads, the band follows, the drums making the perfect counterpart to his powerful strumming.
This powerhouse is alternated with the acoustic version of Hawkwind, on songs like 'Down Through the Night' mind you this type of acoustic doesn't mean that it is lacking in the synthesiser department, but one thing that really stands out is the vocals. You can hear the hurt that Dave Brock is feeling in amongst the synthesiers, providing the chilling core to the heart of this part of the album.
'Time We Left' is as diverse as you could imagine, starting off spacey heading then into a guitar with so much effects that it wouldn't sound out of place on a Jimi Hendrix record. But its this distortion that makes the music so unique and brilliant at the same time. It doesn't matter if it is simple acoustic or bass guitars powerful enough to whack weeds all day long. Hawkwind delivers on all fronts.
Doremi Fasol Latido isn't over yet, and it finishes with the first ever Motörhead song. 'The Watcher' would later appear on Motörhead's first album, it is the first song written by Lemmy, and is a simple acoustic track with his grumbling vocals and fuzzy bass line. A good way to end a good album.
Doremi shows the best of Hawkwind up to this point. Each new member brought something with them, in this album Lemmy and Simon brought rock influences and a new style of bass guitar, a style which would change the way the synthesiers came across. Rather than being on the forefront, they are now on the flank supporting the onslaught of the Hawklords as they seek to dominate the space rock world.