Electric Tepee



by Hoppoman USER (46 Reviews)
June 7th, 2013 | 7 replies

Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hawkwind go back in time and show us an album that would happily belong in the 70s.

Hawkwind – A trip through space, Part XVII Back to the 70s

Hawkwind suffered from their annual molt of band members in between Space Bandits and Electric Tepee. This time around they lost their vocalist and the man behind the keyboards, Harvey Bainbridge. But how would the loss of such an important band member as Bainbridge affect the band" The result is Electric Tepee, an album which goes back to the early style of Hawkwind. In amongst the longer songs are plenty of new space jams, which give the album a similar feel to that of Levitation.

On this album Hawkwind are:

Dave Brock – electric guitar, keyboards, vocals
Alan Davey – bass guitar, vocals, keyboards
Richard Chadwick – drums

Down to a three piece, you'd expect the amount of material to be significantly less layered, but this is not the case with Hawkwind. Electric Tepee if full of surprises and good amounts of music, particularly on the longer songs that break up the album. The opening track 'L.S.D' is an extended rocker complete with buzzing electrical space notes and all sorts of beep, bleeps and creeps. Even without Bainbridge on the keyboards, Davey does a good enough job of redeeming himself, keeping up with the barrage of noise.

Many of the tracks are funky little space rock songs, filled with electrical dribble and dancing guitar notes. This wasn't a problem on their earlier works, but Electric Tepee was the first Hawkwind album to be released on CD, this gave them an extra half hour of music time to play with. As such Electric Tepee runs in at seventy five minutes, and towards the end the album starts to suffer from terrible drag and a loss of pace.

In a similar style to many of their earlier works, Electric Tepee has several large 'pillar' songs which hold up the rest of the album. On this album these songs are the aforementioned 'L.S.D' as well as the tracks 'Secret Agent', 'Masks of the Morning' and 'Going to Hawaii'. Compared to the rest of the album, which are mostly spacey styled electronica songs. These pillars are comprised of space rock. Brock does a good job in taking up the guitar solos of Langton, who left two albums previously, and Davey does a good enough job in picking up the slack from Bainbridge's departure.

The type of music on this album is also vastly different from the music on their earlier works, rather than being mostly comprised of space styled noises, the music is far more modern sounding. This is a good indication that Hawkwind managed to advance themselves along with the times, producing an album that sounds remarkably fresh, until it begins to repeat itself towards the tail end of the album.

That is the biggest issue with Electric Tepee, despite the fact that the album is generally above par than anything Hawkwind attempted in the previous decade, the album is simply far too long for it's own good. Hawkwind could have done an awful lot better if they had 'trimmed the fat' from their record, and cut down parts which are not useful. Songs like 'Space Dust' are rather well done, but they begin to sound boring after a while due to the albums rather extensive length. In the end Electric Tepee is like fishing, sure you may get a big catch, but its the long boring parts in between the fish that really get to you.

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user ratings (24)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 7th 2013


Album Rating: 3.0

Another Hawk bites the dust. Seriously at this rate I should write a Hawkwind book.....

June 7th 2013


90s hawkwind lol you are fuckin crazy dude but props

June 7th 2013


Album Rating: 3.0

long live the hawk. The 90s have their moments.

June 7th 2013


ur brave doing these reviews damn

suck it returntocock

June 7th 2013


Album Rating: 3.0

I feel as though I have a duty to preform.....

June 8th 2013



have a pos

July 26th 2017


Album Rating: 3.5

Well Harvey’s personal problems led to his leaving Hawkwind after a short 1991 spring tour in Europe (without Dave Brock!). Bridget performed with the band in July of ’91 but her singing became more hit than miss. She balked at Dave’s suggestion she take singing lessons for greater control and the band sacked her. So Hawkwind was down to a three piece for the first time and, as is often the case, adversity yields strong results.

Electric TeePee has a strong ambient flavor as well as some techno, but the space rock is still strong in this one. LSD starts things off strong with a riff based rocker –l love it. Blue Shift is a lush ambient song for chilling out to after the rush of LSD. And this 1-2 punch of a space rocker buffered by ambient songs will be the framework for most of this album. The Secret Agent is the next rocker and it takes some flak from fans who find the lyrics too silly/lightweight. I think the song is a fun rocker that cruises along like good Hawkwind does –blanga! Space Dust and Snake Dance (heard first on Space Bandits) are two excellent synth-based moody songs. Mask of the Morning is the next stand-out and it is a ripping update to Mirror of Illusion from the debut album –probably my favorite song on this album. The final highlight for me is the driving Right To Decide, with its excellent lyrics that, prior to doctoring, caused some stir in the British press. Regardless, the song rocks and was also released as single (in substantially different form).

The album is padded with a few too many ambient songs for my liking, but the good far outweighs the filler here. The production is effective and serves the music well –except that Dave’s vocals are a bit too low in the mix for my liking. Highly recommended!

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