HAWKESTREL – Chaos Rocks

Cleopatra 2024

Chaos Rocks

Space predators spread their wings to soar within spectral vibrancy of imaginary possibilities.

Many a former Hawkwinder has gravitated towards their mothership’s aural banditry, but Alan Davey has come the closest to it – close enough to dare and venture beyond the obvious by applying, as this project’s name suggests, orchestral values to cosmic stencils and pulling the band’s other alumni into his orbit. However, there’s always a variance on display, with every new album offering a different angle to what was previously available, and if 2019’s "The Future Is Us" that set Boomer’s anabasis in motion focused on events which would loom on the horizon, “Chaos Rocks” is picking up where "Pioneers Of Space" left off one year later to explore the things which could happen. Not for nothing quite a few ghosts appear here, crossing back over from the better world in order to shape the present day in a fresh way.

It’s not easy to maintain a concept where a vast host of guests are involved, yet multi-instrumentalist Davey’s approach to guiding his flock into space is dictated by desire to keep the spirits of deceased friends alive via providing sonic framework for pre-existing recordings to feel organic and interspersing songs with wordless vistas such as “Near Earth Asteroid” that serves as a nebulous, albeit exciting, intro to the album. Alan’s method and grip on arrangement come to the fore on “Evil Rock (2023 AD)” which lifts Robert Calvert’s vocals from a pop-oriented original and submerges the familiar tune in the heady brew the late warbler created on "Captain Lockheed" while Mick Taylor’s guitar passages elevate the piece’s infectiousness, spiced up with Boomer’s piano, even higher, linking the lyrics to “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” on a musical level. Calendar signifier may also give contemporary air to “2019 OK” which finds Nik Turner’s reeds and Mick Slattery’s strings deep in the pensive groove – a gloomy, but glimmering, contrast to the titular blues whose motorik moves are tethered to earth through the main man’s bass, going for a wigout, and Simon House’s violin.

Those folksy licks pour magic into the fragile “Walking The Wheel” featuring Huw Lloyd-Langton’s axe and Alan’s barely-there voice, and “Class One Kid” that is the LP’s finale which two T’s, Turner and Taylor, help propel onto epic extraterrestrial adventure – yet a new rendition of “Silver Machine” has difficulty taking to the stratosphere, as Carmine Appice‘s drums and Davey’s heavy sway fail to fuel William Shatner’s grave delivery. However, “Kinnikinnick Special” on which Helios Creed’s lines paint alluring patterns exposes this project’s psychedelic underbelly in the most representative manner, as do CD bonuses, including remakes of “Dangerous Visions” and "Opa Loka" with, respectively, Ginger Baker and Nik updating their old parts and adding to the melodic chaos.

Chaos – not disorder, and chaos indeed rocks here, mightily so.


May 9, 2024

Category(s): Reviews
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