Harvestman, U.S. Christmas, Minsk – Hawkwind Triad

Harvestman, U.S. Christmas, Minsk - Hawkwind Triad

In the annals of psychedelic/space rock few are as venerated as Hawkwind. One of the great pioneers of the genre, yet sadly (almost criminally) unknown to many, other than “the band Lemmy got kicked out of before he started Motorhead.” That being said, it is a testament to the quality and staying power of the music of Nick Turner and Co. that, more than 40 years after their humble beginnings, we see a brand new collection of interpretations of some classic Hawkwind material by these three very different bands.

Though the artists contributing have been faithful in retaining much of the original Hawkwind feel they have, at the same time, colored the songs with their own signature brands of heavy psychedelia to remarkable effect. Being familiar with a good bit of Hawkwind’s catalog, I was blown away at how the changes brought to the songs by these artists did great justice to, and actually made better quite a few of them (not to downplay the brilliance of the original work).

The album itself switches off among Harvestman, U.S. Christmas, and Minsk from track to track. This gives the album a more cohesive feel, and it goes to show just how dedicated to the music of Hawkwind these bands are. They have striven to put across some of Hawkwind’s best (if not most well known) material without getting bogged down in rehashing the songs by doing strict covers of them; rather, they breathe new life into the songs through their own unique interpretations. This approach (admittedly a difficult one, according to some of the musicians involved) has resulted in one of the better cover album projects I’ve listened to in recent memory. But, with Hawkwind as the inspiration and source material, and the aforementioned bands at the helm along with the backing of such a dedicated label (Neurot Recordings), how could you go wrong?