Ambient Anarchists

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A two-disc collection covering over 20 years of Hawkwind standouts, Ambient Anarchists is a good choice for listeners new to the group's trippy universe. A live version of the controversial '70s single "Urban Guerilla" leads the record off nicely along with the proto-punk "The Right to Decide." From these relatively spastic origins, listeners are led through several eras of swirling space rock, prog metal, and sci-fi electronica. The fantasy material on disc one has an appealing attitude that's strangely ambitious and innocent. The Lemmy Kilmister-penned "Motorhead" is just one of the many old-school highlights. The disc two selections are even more theatrical, but some of the urgency of Hawkwind's earlier work gets lost in the wash of synth affects and spoken accounts of space travel. Fortunately, "Love in Space" leads a pack of melodically grounded songs that prevent Ambient Anarchists from becoming overcooked by the stars of so many distant galaxies.

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