It’s been a little over a year since Hawklords last release – the rather great live album Hawklords Alive. During that time we’ve been hit by the pandemic, which itself feels so unreal that it could be the dystopian future from one of their songs. But the pandemic isn’t the topic for their upcoming album – instead, we are treated to cosmic musings about time, a subject that has fascinated me greatly ever since watching the original terminator movie as a kid (don’t tell the rating police!). So strap into the Delorean, stick the cd in the player, and let’s take a journey through TIME – hopefully without a paradox in sight!
First off we are treated to Speed of Sound which was written as a tribute to the golden era of test flight pilots who strapped themselves into experimental craft at great risk to themselves (and inspired whole generations of sci-fi authors in the process). Jerry’s signature guitar playing starts the track off with a great sense of energy, coupled with keys and some lovely bluesy bass that really drives the first section of the song on before the track takes a turn into the left-field with some jazzy saxophone from Chris Aldridge that helps elevate the track further and is a great way to kick off the album.
Next up Lighthouse At The Edge Of The World slows the pace down with Dave Pearce’s drumming setting into a really nice grove as Tom Ashhurst’s bass weaves through the track with subtle and deliberate effect that means you can’t help but to close your eyes and imagine standing at the edge of the world with nothing but a sea of hopes and dreams between you and the void. The addition of the flute is fantastic, giving it a classic twist and adding an extra layer of texture to this ambient piece.
This leads very nicely into the darker and more abstract track Obscura. Dirty synths, full-on spacey swirls, this track is reminiscent of classic space rock as poetry is spoken that fully embraces the theme of time and the multiverse. as Jerry recites ‘a fleeting glimpse of my future self or a remnant shade of the past?’ While ticking clocks throughout build a sense of tension taking us to an inevitable end as we are told ‘This Obscura shutter is too fast’ before taking us on a transcendental experience. A great track in its own right, it adds atmosphere to the album overall and helps to bind it all together.
Take Off Your Mask treats us to some almost dub-infused bass from Adrian Shaw which powers through the track, coupled with guitar loops throughout that generate a hypnotic effect while we get some more great sax adding a more freestyled element. Coupled with some pretty cosmic keyboards from Fred Reeves Take off your mask seeks to provide us with a satisfyingly mind-warping experience.
Turn You On picks up the pace with a more upbeat tempo and tone with some great bass runs, with Jerry’s guitar playing carrying us through the track while telling us ‘we only want to turn you on’ and is definitely one of the more accessible tracks on the album for the uninitiated space rock listener.
Kites takes us back into the realm of the more atmospheric hawks with some lovely synths sweeping across the soundstage with an airiness that leaves your mind floating through the clouds as the sound of geese sweeps past you as spoken word ponders the association of light and time, and like a Brian Cox documentary you ultimately reach the melancholy conclusion where this becomes a meaningless concept.
This is followed by To The New Age, which is a rock number with more than a hint of that classic hawks sound. This is a satisfying and fun rock number with Dave Pearce getting into a great groove with the percussion while the rest of the band hit a heavier note. With a great blend of the old and the new, this is sure to be a crowd-pleaser live.
(Almost) last up we have Empire Of Sand, which ends the main part of the album as bells ring out warning us we are nearing the end as the soft, echoing keyboards and gentle and emotive rhythms left me imagining I was looking out over a desolate landscape with ruined buildings being swept away by the sands of a desert, all contained within an hourglass where time slips inexplicably by, as Jerry sings with gentle sadness in his voice ‘Where the seconds and hours in the glass, like the sand itself, disappear’, encouraging us to live for the moment and not brood over what was and what will be.
Finally, we have a bonus remix of Turn You On by Fred Reeves, which although sounds totally different with its housey dance beats, works surprisingly well and is a fun listen non the less!
So we have finished our journey through TIME and discovered another great album by the space rockers Hawklords who have that ability to draw on their heritage to create new music, and yet keep subtly evolving their sound year on year. With their repetitive, sometimes tribal beats and ambient synths paired with that great guitar and bass work all wrapped up within the theme of time, this album provides nourishment for both the ears and the mind, so now it’s TIME to go back to the beginning and listen to it all over again…
Time will be released on the 6th August – Pre Order the album Time here: