Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pinkwind returns as...THE HAWK FAIRIES-PURPLE HAZE CD (Twink Records, England)

After reading the Deviants/Pink Fairies bio reviewed awhile back, I for one sure get the impression that the remaining Pink Fairies are not quite happy with the group's former drummer/lead singer John "Twink" Alder. It's not hard to realize why, especially with the way the longtime psychedelic punkeroo himself has not only been capitalizing on the Pink Fairies name by reissuing old Peel Sessions and the GLASTONBURY FAYRE tracks without the other ex-members' knowledge but with his using of the Pink Fairies moniker, either in whole or in part, on a number of nineties-vintage outings featuring himself and former guitarist Paul Rudolph amongst other former Fairies/Hawkwind toadies. And after reading various comments via the dear internet you can tell that even the diehard fans of the old English "Peoples Band" credo seem to be shuddering over Twink's perhaps questionable practices, or at least they get into their cringe act when they come across this 1996 CD where Twink and Hawkwind's Nik Turner got together with some of the extended family and released this live gig under the "Pinkwind" banner, an outright reference to the infamous space jams the two bands used to engage in at many an early-seventies gig that ended only when the last man had finally passed out into true lysergic bliss.

Going against the grain of all conventional thought I gotta admit that despite the obvious grasping for past glories and whatnot that Twink may be engaging in I find myself digging PURPLE HAZE for many a reason. First off, Twink, Turner and crew sure come off a lot more honest and refreshing than all of those San Franciscan relics out there who've been trying to milk 1967 glories for over four decades already! Secondly, these "Hawk Fairies" do a pretty good job at it even if only two of the original crewmates are on board and the rest of 'em seem to be leftovers from the early-eighties post-punk battalion returning to their hippoid roots. Ceed-ly, the music that appears here, despite most reviews to the contrary, actually kept my imagination a'dancing and my interests held up even with the overlong jams that accompany such late-sixties standbys as Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" and "Purple Haze", not forgetting Hawkwind's very own "Masters of the Universe" and perennial show-stopped "Brainstorm". True it all comes out in a big ball of messy, atonal, freeform sonic wax that would only appeal to a hardened fan, or hardened criminal for that matter, but that's one ball of wax that I certainly can go whole hog for!

Nice live vibes here and general psych-punk osmosis is in store and really, I can't see how any truly passionate Hawkwind fan out there couldn't but just love this 'un even if it reeks $1.98 cash in. It does (like the best krautrock even!) have that sorta transcendental ability to appeal to both love children roots and late-seventies Pere Ubu-bred cold wavers as the electronic buzz seems to leave residue all over the sanctity of your very own bedroom, and the way this bunch breathes new life into songs heard a thousand times before is rather unique and shines on like the best early-seventies English rock always could when pried away from its more pompous moments. And despite the extended workouts evident this is not quite another "jam" Cee-Dee, and frankly PURPLE HAZE's so good in its energetic flow that I could've imagined track #3 "Thoth", had it gotten 'round back in the early-seventies, to've been compared to the Velvet Underground even by the corniest of ROLLING STONE-bred critics out there.

Call it a quickie ripoff cash-in if you will, but let this bustard be the first on the block to tell you that PURPLE HAZE just might be one of the lost crunchers of nineties underground jetsam that's due for another looksee. Help the Twink retirement fund and buy yourself a copy asap!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do w/ the Hawk Fairies or Pinkwind, but I wanted you and your readers to know that Bob Pfeifer of HUMAN SWITCHBOARD fame has pleaded guilty to wiretapping in the Anthony Pelicano case in Los Angeles. He could receive up to five years at sentencing. He also pled not guilty to conspiracy charges, and presumably that case will be tried later. A sad chapter in the story of this incredibly talented man who I always considered the equal of, say, a Jim Carroll in terms of being a son-of-reed. When I was visiting Brad Kohler in January, we listened to some rare Pfiefer vinyl and cassettes and were blown away at how well they held up and how good they still sounded.