Hawkwind Light Orchestra - Carnivorous (CD Cherry Red)

The Hawkwind Light Orchestra’s second album started life of as a Dave Brock solo effort but once a couple of other band members climbed aboard, we got the stripped down group that make up the HLO. The trio on this album being Dave Brock (vocals, lead guitar, keyboards and synths), Richard Chadwick (drums) and Magnus Martin (guitar, vocal and keyboards).

I have a big love of Hawkwind albums form their debut up to Levitation and carried on following the albums from there up to the Chronicles of the Black Sword. After that I've dipped in and out of their albums and seem them live over the last ten or so years a couple of times. So, it was really exciting to find that Carnivorous sits very nicely alongside many of their classic albums. There are plenty of nods to other eras of the full band. Levitation certainly has a lot of influence here and some of Dave’s guitar playing is very much of that sort of vintage Hawkwind. Have a listen to “Higher Ground” off here and then “Motorway City” off Levitation and you could easily have been listening to tracks destined for the same album.

There's a whole bunch of really fantastic pieces on here from the catchy and obviously single material of “Dyna-mite” (which to my ears has a slight nod to PXR5) to the more synth heavy pieces like “Whose Call Is It Anyway” and the more straightforward head down rock of “Repel Attract”.

There's really something for everyone that has ever had an era of Hawkwind that they've enjoyed. “Model Farm Blues,” being the only track I feel is slightly out of place with its 12 bar blues and almost Quo like style. I could have lived without that one, but I'm not a big blues fan.

Carnivorous definitely took me somewhat by surprise as I wasn't expecting it to be quite this essential a listen but it's had more than its fair share of my listening time over the last couple of weeks and for anyone, who like me, hasn't kept up with Hawkwind much over the last decade or two then this is a great place to start catching up. DB.

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