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Hawkwind Light Orchestra bleep and whoosh and rage at contemporary society on Carnivorous

Truncated space-rock veterans Hawkwind tackle the pandemic on Carnivorous

Hawkwind Light Orchestra: Carnivorous
(Image: © Cherry Red)

It stands to reason that a band as rooted in sci-fi and fantasy as Hawkwind should record an album inspired by the COVID-19 outbreak during lockdown. 

It was originally conceived as a Dave Brock solo project, but the band’s mainstay is joined by drummer Richard Chadwick, and Magnus Martin on keyboards and guitar, the lack of the full band line-up prompting the ‘Light Orchestra’ suffix.

With all the classic hallmarks of chugging guitars (Dyna-mite), synths that bleep and go ‘whoosh!’ (Void Of Wasteland) and propulsive drumming firmly in place, Carnivorous (an anagram of ‘coronavirus’) is an album that addresses very contemporary concerns. 

Righteous epic The Virus makes the case for vegetarianism, while the dystopian Lockdown (Keep Calm) seethes with outrage. Windy Day’s knees-up and the turgid pub-rock of Modal Farm Blues drag the album down briefly mid-flight but, those blips aside, this is Hawkwind consolidating their strengths in the here and now.

Julian Marszalek is the former Reviews Editor of The Blues Magazine. He has written about music for Music365, Yahoo! Music, The Quietus, The Guardian, NME and Shindig! among many others. As the Deputy Online News Editor at Xfm he revealed exclusively that Nick Cave’s second novel was on the way. During his two-decade career, he’s interviewed the likes of Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne, and has been ranted at by John Lydon. He’s also in the select group of music journalists to have actually got on with Lou Reed. Marszalek taught music journalism at Middlesex University and co-ran the genre-fluid Stow Festival in Walthamstow for six years.