Hawkwind Light Orchestra: Stellar Variations

Uncomfortably numb.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

I don’t know what this ‘Light Orchestra’ malarkey is all about. These recording are neither light nor orchestral. It’s just another Hawkwind album conforming to their set formula of howling sustain, pounding percussion, effects a go-go, massive distortion and clichéd poetry, at its very best moments sounding a little like mid-period Pink Floyd but mostly generic Dave Brock Hawkwind.

In fact Stellar Variations takes me to much the same place that PiL’s recent This Is PiL did. It’s music that could have been created by any bunch of stoners in a home studio on a wet afternoon.

Dave Brock is a veteran of the cacophony racket, and should be pushing the envelope, not just pandering to the converted. From Mingus to Moore (Thurston), you can wax as discordant as you like, but there has to be an emotional connection with the listener, otherwise it’s like wise ol’ Will once said: of sound and fury signifying nothing.