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(51:25; Flicknife Records)
Lastwind is the project from Paul Hayles, who in the Seventies was a member of the band Ark who had supported Hawkwind a few times. Calvert and Brock then formed Sonic Assassins with Ark members Harvey Bainbridge (bass), Paul Hayles (keyboards) and Martin Griffin (drums). Hayles also joined Hawkwind when they toured America in 1978, but although Bainbridge and Griffin both became members of Hawklords, Hayles did not. The debut Lastwind album was released in 2012, ‘Return of the Sonic Assassin’, where Paul provided both vocals and keyboards, but this time around we are down a trio. Paul this time provides synth, keyboards and backing vocals, Ken Higgins the vocals and Nueng all guitars. I must confess this albums isn’t the sort of music I would personally listen to for pleasure: not that there is anything wrong with it, just that it isn’t really to my own tastes. It is dance music, mixed with rock and a real lo-fi indie alternative approach which is very clever, and at times enthralling but not always what I want to listen. In many ways it is a microcosm of Hawkwind itself, who as a band have not only been through numerous personnel over the years but have also tried their hands at multiple different styles. With artwork which could have come from a Seventies Hawkwind album, a name which is pretty close, there is no doubt who this album is aimed at and fans of certain periods of that group will undoubtedly find a great deal here to enjoy. Me? When the guitars are crunching and Lastwind move away from the more overt trip or trance moments into something more powerful then that is when I find myself appreciating it most, but there is definitely an audience out there for this style of alternative music, just not me. It is well produced with a good clean sound throughout, and fans of this style of music or of Hawkwind (of course) should seek this out. As an aside, Paul Hayles has also released a biography called ‘Sonic Assassin’ for those who wish know more about his musical journey.
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