There’s been a whiff of the apocalypse around Hawkwind right from the start. And here we are now in the midst of a pandemic, and Dave Brock is finding it hard not to say, “I told you so.” Carnivorous is an anagram of coronavirus, and as the long-time vegan Brock notes on The Virus, ‘What we eat is meat’s revenge.’
Originally a solo project, input from drummer Richard Chadwick and multi-instrumentalist Magnus Martin has turned it into a semi-group effort, thus Hawkwind Light Orchestra. It’s double album length, but divides roughly into thirds. The opening part, with Brock musing on the nature of love, is particularly strong: the driving Dyna-Mite and Repel Attract are like 90s rave rockers, while airy electronica meets ambient guitar loops on Void Of Wasteland and Attraction. The middle third, tackling the issue of over-population, is less refined, but the Kinks-esque space rock of Windy Day and heavy Quo-isms of Model Farm Blues are fun. Then we’re onto Covid-19, but before the aforementioned epic The Virus, there’s the wonderfully paranoid Lockdown (Keep Calm), a crushingly intense update of Sonic Attack for our interesting times. Do not panic.