The puz­zle of who car­ries the Hawk­wind torch with great­est aplomb con­tin­ues.

Prog - - The Musical Box -

The lat­est in­stal­ment of hawk­watch is fur­ther com­pli­cated by the fact that Dave Brock’s ac­tual hawks have just de­liv­ered a dis­ap­point­ingly pedes­trian, Mike Bat­torches­trated set of reimag­ined for­mer glo­ries, while the old mas­ter’s for­mer ap­pren­tice ’Lords con­tinue to as­tound with amaz­ing mu­sic. Favoured with the sort of rich, lush, modern pro­duc­tion their evoca­tive space rock de­mands, Brave New World im­proves upon last year’s Six in both son­ics and scope. Tri­umphal opener Devil in Your head plum­mets out of the ether in sim­i­lar style to lat­ter-day killing Joke, be­fore break­ing into a psych-dusted spo­ken word seg­ment that’s pure Robert Calvert. Even down to the clipped dra­matic weight­i­ness of his sin­gu­lar vo­cal de­liv­ery. Too much? Post-Zep new­bies greta Van Fleet, all bets seem off as re­gards trade­mark­ing a char­ac­ter­is­tic vo­cal in­to­na­tion, and con­sid­er­ing it sounds so right in this con­text, how can it be wrong? To­day’s four-piece ’Lords boast an in­tu­itive gift for ensem­ble in­ter­play that com­bines tight­ness with flu­id­ity ex­cel­lently. There are truly un­shake­able rock hooks within these some­times am­bi­ent off-the-hook grooves and plenty of them.

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