Album Review: Hawkwind - The Future Never Waits
Reviewed by Cark Black
With almost as many albums as their are universes in the cosmos, Hawkwind have arrived at album thirty-five entitled 'The Future Never Waits'. I can imagine some young upstart wanting to make their mark in music management suggesting to Dave Brock and Co that the way forward is to place a short, punchy track at the beginning of the album. Such is the way of social media and streaming; this is the best strategy to capitalizs on any audience. In reaction to this growing trend Hawkwind have once again bucked it with the first track being an ambient eleven minute long instrumental. The kind of song you would hear between the sound of the sea, Amazon rainforest noises and whale songs on those specialised stands in garden centres where you could buy CDs of calming music.
But hold on to your hats because the second track 'The End' has that familiar chugging and driving bass sound with persistent drumming speckled with weird noises and mind bending atmosphere. It's hard, it's heavy, it's trippy, it's everything you would come to expect of a “typical” Hawkwind sound (if there is such a thing). 'Rama' also visits this particular atmosphere with an eight-minute-long version that is guitar washed, maybe more subdued than 'The End', but has a great 80’s sounding synth solo in the middle.
Elsewhere on the album we have jazz fused drum and bass with saxophone and piano breaks in the song 'They Are Easy to Distract'. Trippy soundscapes with blistering guitar solos on 'USB1'. Hippie trippy goodness that drifts off into the ether by the end of the song on 'I'm Learning to Live Today'. Spoken word samples and poetry readings fresh from the alternative community and all of Dave Brook’s colourful friends on the fantastic 'Aldous Huxley'.
It's a bit of a liquorice allsorts as far as Hawkwind albums go. The ambience, the samples, the electronica, the 70s fuzz, the driving bass and the poetry readings, everything you would expect, and maybe a little bit more but never staying in one place too long. Maybe not quite placed beside their classics but definitely worth a spin and of course these songs are going to sound amazing live.
Hawkwind are meandering around the country later on in the summer, best get yourself a ticket and hear some of these songs how they were supposed to be heard… outdoors, below the stars, in afield full of like-minded space travellers.