Hawkwind – ‘The Future Never Waits’ (Cherry Red) SPACE ROCK

Reviewed By: The God Of Thunder

The Future Never Waits is the latest studio recording from Hawkwind. It is now the year 2023, and it is the band’s 35thstudio album. Now, let’s use ‘The God of Thunder’s Time MachineTM‘- and go back in time to 1970, and say that out loud to someone else.

I think you can see why, it seems strange to me, to be writing a review of a Hawkwind album, in the 21st century, never mind their 35th. In 1970, I don’t think anyone really expected to still be listening to ‘Hard Rock’ half a century later, never mind with some of the same people still creating it! The year 2000 was a whole UK song away, and still people thought that it would look like very much like the artwork on Hawkwind album covers, and everyone would be driving jet-cars. Whilst the future has turned out to be more 1984, than Jetsons, that dystopian, futuristic darkness has always been part of Hawkwind’s music and image. This is what they’ve been talking about all these years. 

Add to that some of the best material I’ve heard from them in decades, and you have something that is both exactly what you expect and were hoping for, yet isn’t shy to slap you upside the head with half a brick. It’s the perfect soundtrack to the times we’re struggling through.

The title track is old-school and kicks the album off in a reassuringly Old-school-New Age way, whilst the second track, ‘The End’, is more familiar, chugging guitar-driven, angsty Brock vocals, spacy solos territory. ‘Aldous Huxley’ is a mixture of spoken word and sounds, and then, the first stand out moment of this album, ‘They Are Easily Distracted’ – this jazzy romp is delightful and is, for me, the stand-out track in this collection of songs. It’s going to be a classic for the next 35 years.‘Rama (The Prophecy)’, ‘USB 1’, ‘Outside Of Time’, ‘I’m Learning To Live Today’, and ‘The Beginning’ are all really strong tracks, will please the older Hawkwind faithful for sure, and they provide a nice flow to the message of the album. The closing track, ‘Trapped In The Modern Age’, is a statement of fact. Dark stuff, if you think about it. Not that that hasn’t actually been Hawkwind’s metier for the last half century, it’s just that, now, we are living it, and this is the soundtrack. to it. 

I love the concept of this album, the music, the track titles, the sequencing of it, everything. And, the weirdest thing of all? In this upside down, 21st century schizoid world, it makes perfect sense.