Church of Hawkwind

very poor


by Hoppoman USER (46 Reviews)
May 2nd, 2013 | 9 replies

Release Date: 1982 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hawkwind get into the spirit of the 80s, with terrible results.

Hawkwind – A trip through Space, Part XII The 80s Strike Back.

Hawkwind were never afraid to try something new and that is what Church of Hawkwind is. But new isn't always better and that happens to be the case, on this ram shackled piece of work, that Hawkwind produced in the first half of 1982. The 80s are generally famous for two things, the rise of metal and the use of synthesisers on everyday music, ranging from pop to metal and everything in between. For this album, Hawkwind stray away from their standard 'rock' image and throw themselves whole heartedly into the sounds of the synthesisers and the results speak for themselves.

Hawkwind are:

Dave Brock – electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, vocals
Huw Lloyd-Langton – electric guitar, vocals
Harvey Bainbridge – bass guitar, keyboards, vocals
Martin Griffin– drums

This album is a synthesiser ruled kingdom from start to finish. Dave Brock became Dr Technical for this album and many of the songs are written by him, albeit poorly. This album is basically a few inches away from being a Brock solo album, but it just so happens that he brought Hawkwind along for this roller coaster of hell. Everything seems to be weak on this record, the song writing is very poor, with many songs being either instrumentals or repeats of a few words over and over again. The longer songs with structure are basically poems that don't flow, giving the album a staggered tone.

Also, Langton and Bainbridge seem to forget that they play instruments. Langton's guitar is nearly nowhere to be found and when he does appear, it repeats the same metal 'twang' noise over and over again. Bainbridge has totally left his bass guitar post, throwing himself with fluid grace onto the keyboard section along with Brock. The drumming is also rather poor, with Griffin's drumming being replaced by simple drum fills that sound like they were produced from a poor quality drumming machine. Hawkwind have no one on this album willing to take the risk to try anything new, lyrically or musically. They attempt to cover these short comings by adding more synthesiers to the mix, but even these don't add anything to the album, and just make it appear even more bloated and sluggish.

Church of Hawkwind is not a good album, even the most stand out track; the short but chilling 'Experiment with Destiny', is in fact a shortened rehash of the song 'Virgin of the World' from their previous album Sonic Attack. Church takes away a lot from the sound of Hawkwind and nothing new is added, the synthesiers do their best to fill the gap, but they are shallow and hollow, a mindless mass of blaring 80s beeps, bleeps, whizzes and noise. Church doesn't even have a proper structure let alone proper songs, a very very poor effort from a band who had done so well up to this point. This album is not recommended for anyone who is a fan of Hawkwind, but luckily this album would soon fall into the deep cracks of the 1980s, and Hawkwind would release a new album a few months later.

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user ratings (18)

Comments:Add a Comment 
May 1st 2013


Album Rating: 1.5

I can sum this album up in two words, stay away.

May 1st 2013


I can sum your avatar in two words, fucking.awesome

May 1st 2013


if ur 10

May 1st 2013


Hmm Hawkwind : ( pos'd,nice rev.

May 1st 2013


I love Hawkwind, so I'll stay as far from this possible. Good review bro

Staff Reviewer
May 2nd 2013


Pos because this is a great review.

I love Hawkwind, so I'll stay as far from this possible. [2]

Digging: Savage Machine - Abandon Earth

May 2nd 2013


Album Rating: 2.0

"The 80s strike back" - Ha, I love it!

This is a terrible album, probably their worst.

May 2nd 2013


Album Rating: 1.5

I'd say so, there is really nothing to say about it which is good, except the fact that it is short.

July 26th 2017


Album Rating: 2.0

It does sound more like a Dave Brock solo album with special Hawkwind guests rather than a full blown Hawkwind effort. Nuclear Drive and Star cannibal are probably the songs most fleshed out with band mate participation –they groove just fine, but neither song takes full flight. The other songs are interesting experiments with synthesizers and samples (including the JFK assassination news footage). It’s a nice disk to chill to and relax, but I can’t call it a favorite Hawkwind album. My favorite cut is probably Fall of Earth City. Harvey’s recitation is strong and Huw’s guitar adds a nice counter to the synths. The Atomhenge release is the way to go as the Griffin remaster added 3 solo Brock songs from the early 90s into the running order and screwed-up the flow of the album. The album’s original flow is actually one of its charms.

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