Dr Hasbeen online

space rock band

BLACK WIDOW RECORDS

New review of signs added

DR. HASBEEN – “Signs” 2CD ’08 (Black Widow, Eng) – My heavens, this is some kind of package: 2 CD’s, a tri-fold digipak, a detailed booklet with killer artwork. You really have to hand it to Mass & the people at Black Widow. When they get behind an artist, they do things up first class, spending time & taking care…a joy to see. And, for fans of the British legends Hawkwind, this mammoth set by DR. HASBEEN should be a joy to hear. I’ll be the first to admit that the Hawkwind style of driving space rock is surely an acquired taste. I’ll also admit that, while I can give it a listen at certain times, it’s not always my cup of tea. But there’s no question in the world that DR HASBEEN play plenty of homage to their heroes here and then some. Through a marathon session comprising studio and live cuts, these guys offer a bevy of numbers like “The Time Watcher,” “Apollo 13” and “Axis Of Evil” rife with driving guitar rhythms, pulsing electronics and enough sci-fi overtones to fill a whole bookstore. Making appearances as well, are nods to HW in the form of renditions of such classics as “Sonic Attack,” “Silver Machine” and “Master Of The Universe.” Truly a trip worth taking at least a few times. 7.0
http://www.blackwidow.it/

ALBUM OF THE WEEK

Hello Dr. Hasbeen,

 

I hereby want to inform you that your album ‘Signs’ has become ‘WeekCD’ on ProgLog AFTERglow. The text is written in Dutch but I can assure you that the conclusion is ‘very positive’, however with some sidenotes to the soundquality. It is published on our homepage.

 

ProgLog AFTERglow is a Dutch site which gives attention to progressive and symphonic rock from the seventies till now. The site’s runned by some admirers of this kind of music and some progmusicians. You can find reviews, CD’s of the Week, opinions about progrock, progvideo, classic progthemes in staff-notation and other progparafernelia over there.

 

Lots of success in promoting your new album !                                                                                                                                                                      

Prog Smells Not Funny,

Harry ‘JoJo’ de Vries    

                                                

ProgLog AFTERglow and don’t forget our dBase ProgReviews AFTERglow !!!

 

TRACK LISTINGS & DETAILS

  • CD 1 STUDIO
  • 1 - signs
  • 2 - the Seers song
  • 3 - time watcher
  • 4 - why Syb
  • 5 - looking glass - end of days
  • 6 - why Syb (band version)
  • 7 - PSI power
  • 8 - heaven awaits
  • 9 - death - metal head
  • 10 - lifers
  • 11 - waves of aliens
  • 12 - Axis of evil

  • CD2 LIVE
  • 1 - final fight
  • 2 - golden void
  • 3 - silver machine
  • 4 - apollo 13
  • 5 - world of dreams
  • 6 - suicide machine
  • 7 - return to the afterlife
  • 8 - sonic attack
  • 9 - hippy trip
  • 10 - master of the universe
  • ------------------------------
  • *  all new and previously un- released versions  *

MUSIC JOURNAL PRESS REVIEW

Dr. Hasbeen

Signs

Review by Gary Hill

I have to admit, I’ve always wanted to be in Hawkwind – seriously. If I could play in any band out there, it would be Hawkwind. I even gave a roadie some tapes at one point to give to Dave Brock. My point here is that, I must not be the only one with that dream. These guys apparently decided that if they can’t be in Hawkwind, they will do their best to sound like Hawkwind – and they are quite good at what they do.

The double disc set is sort of a mixed bag. The first CD is a studio one and the first few tracks are simply incredible – right up there with just about anything Hawkwind themselves have done. It gets a bit inconsistent from there, though. A lot of that is due to recording techniques. Some of this is just not up to par in terms of sound quality or mixing. It hurts the consistency of the first CD.

The second disc consists of live performances and this is far more consistent. Only one track really fails in my book – and again, it’s mostly due to the sound quality. Whether these guys are covering Hawkwind songs or creating their own Hawk music, it’s obvious the spirit of the Hawks is alive and well in Dr. Hasbeen. Now, I guess I have two bands I’d like to play in – Hawkwind and Dr. Hasbeen. It would be a similar experience.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Signs
A narrator brings us up to date on the story so far, a doomsday scenario. Keyboards and sound effects wander about in the backdrop. A chugging, powerhouse Hawkwind like jam rises up from here is classic style. They move through in a pretty typical fashion and the song drops back to an ambient section over which we get another soundscape. This is simply amazing and every bit as good as just about anything Hawkwind themselves have ever done.
The Seers Song
This is based on more ambient keyboard textures with waves of sound and spoken sound bites swirling in slow patterns around one another. This never rises up too far, but these more ambient waves of sound serve as the backdrop for a distant, processed, half spoken, half shouted vocal line.
Time Watcher

Faster paced, this is another killer slab of space rock. It reminds me of something from Hawkwind’s Space Bandits album.

Why Syb
This is a solo version of this track, taken from an old CDr. It comes in with some pretty sound effect type elements. It rises up as an intricate acoustic based motif. The echoey vocals come across in definite Hawkwind-like ways, but the song only has so much in common with Hawkwind. This suffers a bit from a sloppy mix, probably due to limitations of the recording method. It’s cool, but I think it might have worked better as a bonus track rather than in the midst of things. It’s just not up to the quality of the tracks that preceded it in terms of sound and threatens the flow because of it.
Looking Glass / End of Days
This starts with a little ambient texture. Then a scream heralds the harder rocking, fast paced jam. It drops back after a while to a mellower, keyboard based jam. We get a cool voice over about Osama Bin Laden while a pretty, but rather melancholy musical texture works through.
Why Syb
In a band arrangement of the earlier track, space rock keyboards start this and begin to climb upward. The rock and roll meets space texture here reminds me a bit of something from Anubis Spire. While this isn’t one of my favorite cuts on show here, it’s definitely more effective than the original recording.
Psi Power
This is a cover of a Hawkwind song and frankly, you’d almost swear it really was Hawkwind. Mind you, it’s a rather rough recording, a bit tinny, but I’ve heard things from Brock and company that sound like that.
Heaven Awaits
Keys, percussion and wailing guitar (deep in the mix) make up this musical journey. It’s rather understated, but also cool. It’s a fairly noisy, but still understated, freak out. We get some more powerful keyboards in the closing segments that dominate and control.
Death Metal Head
Another sound bite starts this, joined by weird, bouncing kinds of sounds. From there the Hawk-textures climb in a powerhouse jam. It turns out to a percussive dominated, rhythmic sort of progression later with Dave Brock like vocals over the top. Guitar skims across this motif as they carry onward.
Lifers

Sound bites and weird sound effects start things here. As this rises up it turns rather heavy and a bit metal. This is dark and gloomy, a bit like Hawkwind doing Black Sabbath.

Waves of Aliens
Space keys serve as the backdrop on this piece. Effects and keys swirl around one another. A guitar grind enters and moves the track in new directions. This powers out with a pretty typical Hawkwind approach. It drops back to a more ethereal section with chirping keys and spoken vocals.
Never Forget
This is not extremely Hawkwind-like. It’s a pretty balladic piece. Don’t get me wrong, there are traces of Hawk-sounds here, but they are nowhere near as prevalent as on most of the rest of the disc. This is a great tune. It never really moves far, but when it’s in this cool of a place to start, who cares?
Axis of Evil
Sound bites start this off. The vocals on this one border on extreme metal. The musical motif is a bit rough, too. The overall effect is kind of like a cross between Motorhead and Hawkwind. Considering that they share a good deal of musical territory through Lemmy, that’s not a far stretch. We get a more typical Hawk-jam at the center of this. It’s a cool tune, but again, not really one of my favorites here.
Disc 2
Countdown / Final Fight
This starts with a swirling, sort of textural, theatrical introductory piece. If you are familiar with Hawkwind you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It launches out into a tasty space jam that’s got a lot of warbly textures and whooshing keyboards. The guitar paints tasty sound pictures and the keys chirp along to the beat. They take it out into a killer space jam after a while. You would really swear you are listening to Hawkwind here. At over ten minutes in length this is an extensive and extremely powerful jam that should please fans of Hawkwind and space rock in general.
Golden Void
Always one of my favorite tracks by Hawkwind, these guys put in a solid rendition of it. It wouldn’t take a big stretch of the imagination to think that this is, in fact, some lost Hawkwind recording. Of course, part of that’s because there are so many different sounds to Hawkwind and you can find a million different textures to the live versions of their classics.
Silver Machine
Here they tackle what is arguably Hawkwind’s best known song. This rocker feels even more like it could be a lost Hawk-performance. It’s punchy and fun. At times they seem ready to morph this into a different Hawkwind tune, but it’s hard to get a grip on just which song it might be. Instead the recording is faded away.
World of Dreams
An original track, this comes up with keyboard waves and a female voice. The first portion of this is essentially a powered up poetry reading - one of the kind of things Hawkwind has always been known for doing. It moves out into a hard rocking tune which, while still having Hawkisms, is a bit less directly related to the music of Baron Brock and company. Still, we get a little “welcome to Utopia” to pull us firmly into the realm of the Church of Hawkwind. This doesn’t wander far from that neighborhood anyway. They power up into a killer rocking motif for a tasty guitar solo. A powerhouse, this is over eleven minutes and length. At that massive a size a lesser cut would drag. This doesn’t have that problem at all. It drops back towards more mellow approaches later as the vocals return.  They fire back out into the smoking space rock sounds from there as they continue onward.
Apollo 13
Dramatic keys, sound effects and echoey vocals combine for nearly creepy effect. Percussion threatens to rise up and then the whole group launch out into another hard edged jam. This is rather raw, but in a good way. There is no shortage of space rock keyboards or Hawkwind-like vocals, but this is an original composition of Dr. Hasbeen. The expansive jam that takes it later reminds me a lot of Doremi… era Hawkwind.
Return to the Afterlife
Swirling keys and sound effects begin this in classic space rock fashion. Other elements enter as this instrumental carries on, but we don’t move far from the track’s origins. It’s quite effective nonetheless and another great tune on a CD full of them.
Suicide Machine
This is a bit heavier and rawer than some of the other stuff here. It’s a cool tune, but a bit overly noisy. As the music on this live disc goes, I’d say this is the weak link.
Sonic Attack
We get another Hawkwind cover here in the form of the trippy, psychotic, science fiction based poetry reading “Sonic Attack.” They play it a little looser and with less of a heavy texture to it. This isn’t quite as weird as the versions which were familiar with from Hawkwind.
Hippy Trip
Starting with some Hawkwind sound clips, this launches into a rather stripped down, but still very Hawklike, rock and roll jam. For as little as this song has going for it, it drags well past its welcome here at about seven minutes in length.
Master of the Universe
They hit another all time Hawkwind classic here. When it's a killer tune like this how can you go wrong? The answer is, you can't. And once again, you might be convinced that this is actually some lost Hawkwind recording.
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Signs cd review

DR HASBEEN - Signs - double Cd - BLACK WIDOW RECORDS Cat. n. BWRCD 103-2

 

Technicians of spaceship Earth, take note: the legacy of Hawkwind lives on in Dr. Hasbeen's newest release. If you're looking for the psychedelic meltdown euphoria of The Space Ritual or the earth-shattering space rock of Doremi Fasol Latido, your search is over. Signs, is the first official release of studio & live tracks from various venues, evokes fond far flung memories of Hawkwind at its best: blasting off live in all its acid glory for the heart of the sun.


 

Track List:


CD 1

SIGNS

THE SEERS SONG

THE TIME WATCHER

WHY SYB

LOOKING GLASS / END OF DAYS

WHY SYB

PSI POWER

HEAVEN AWAITS

DEATH METAL HEAD

LIFERS

WAVES OF ALIENS

NEVER FORGET

AXIS OF EVIL

 

CD 2

COUNTDOWN / THE FINAL FIGHT

GOLDEN VOID

SILVER MACHINE

WORLD OF DREAMS

APOLLO 13

RETURN TO THE AFTERLIFE

SUICIDE MACHINE

SONIC ATTACK

HIPPY TRIP

MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE

MORE CDR REVIEWS

From Aural Innovations #30 (February 2005)

Technicians of spaceship Earth, take note: the legacy of Hawkwind lives on in Dr. Hasbeen's two newest releases. If you're looking for the psychedelic meltdown euphoria of The Space Ritual or the earth-shattering space rock of Doremi Fasol Latido, your search is over. Powered by Beer, a collection of live tracks from various venues between 1998 and 2000, evokes fond far flung memories of Hawkwind at its best: blasting off live in all its acid glory for the heart of the sun. The Alien Within, on the other hand, trims off some of the fiery excesses of the live disc, refining the smoldering remains into a burning gem of rock hard semi-precious metal.

The live Powered by Beer features Spacehead refugees Paul Boars (drums) and Mr. Dibs (synths) and spotlights the Doctor himself Martyn Needham (guitars, synths, keyboards, vocals). Though there are some minor glitches here and there in the recording, the eight tracks on Powered by Beer form a massive attack of metalized guitars, pounding drums and swirling synthesizers. Additionally, the recording quality and mix is exceptionally good for a live set. The Calvert-esque spoken intro "System Check/Final Flight" segues nicely into the blistering heavy rock of "Marriage of Heaven & Hell," a song that would've easily fit right into the track list of Doremi Fasol Latido. The super accelerated version of "Urban Guerilla" far exceeds the original in manic intensity, so much so that the frenetic pace of the rhythm section virtually propels the listener through a black hole of pure stereophonic destruction. You better watch out for those asteroids hurtling toward you at light speed. "They Call Me the Doctor" features some blazing guitar licks framed by gurgling electronics and power drill drums. "Techno & Greed" appropriately brings the high watt hurricane to a thundering close. Imagine the Dead Kennedys locked in mortal combat with Hawkwind somewhere out beyond Alpha Centauri and you've got a good picture of the chainsaw mayhem created by the dual power drive of Needham's and Daz Fletcher's guitars. In sum, Powered by Beer is an essential document in the Hasbeen canon of astral voyages and trans-dimensional trips.

If the non-stop frenzy of Powered by Beer doesn't leave your brain stem completely scorched, The Alien Within should immolate what's left of it, including the rest of your entire central nervous system. Starfleet space cadets will be ducking the phasor beams and dodging photon torpedoes while listening to such crushing space anthems as "Time Wheel," "Hippy Trip" and "Space Riders." Each of these songs jettisons the vicarious star voyager into spiraling realms where turbo-driven guitars collide head-on with the meteoric blaze of ion-fueled synths. The high energy "Hippy Trip," in particular, with its locomotive Dave Brock-inspired blues scale, plays out like a close cousin to "Kings of Speed." The two Hawkwind covers, "Flying Doctor" and "Psi Power," are well-executed; however, neither surpasses the original versions by the mother ship. The near ambient "Lords of Darkness," with its sinister invocation and arpeggiated synth line, is strangely reminiscent of Hawkwind circa The Chronicle of the Black Sword. The more down-to-earth, semi-acoustic tracks, particularly "What Can I Say" and "The Alien Within," create a welcome counterbalance to the otherwise merciless barrage that Needham and crew inflict on the listener. "Axis of Evil" is a fitting final destination to the power cruise that The Alien Within takes you on. A Calvert-like Captain Lockheed rocker, "Axis of Evil" fire bombs the perimeters of your stereo field with prophetic warnings of a future Islamic blitzkrieg from dark forces waiting to be summoned by the voice of Allah. The apocalypse is coming soon to a theatre near you, but if you want a preview, this is it. Recorded entirely live in the studio, The Alien Within fires on all cylinders and should be essential listening for anyone interested in the recent development of post-Hawkwind aerospace age rock 'n' roll. And it leaves no doubt that Dr. Hasbeen has solidified its reputation as both a blast from the past and a fist for the future.

For more information you can email Dr Hasbeen at: drhasbeen7@aol.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Dr Hasbeen; 34 Hallfieldgate Lane; Shirland; Derbyshire; De556AA; England.

Reviewed by Charles Van de Kree

SELF RELEASED CDR REVIEWS

Dr Hasbeen - "Prophetic Obscurities"
(1998, DRHAS004CD, CD-R)

England's Dr Hasbeen wears it's Hawkwind influences on their collective sleeves and makes no bones about it. Their music is heavy synth-laden Hawk-style spacerock with vocals that sound just like Krel's "Ad Astra". The guitar is prominent and, though not particularly exciting, solos frequently in a trippy psychedelic fashion that makes it work well within the whole of the music. Dr Hasbeen performances have been highly visual events featuring extensive lightshows, dancers, and jugglers.

The band was formed in 1995 as the Space Bandits and changed their name to Dr Hasbeen in 1997. Prophetic Obscurities is the third release from the Hasbeen camp and consists of founder Martyn Needham on vocals, guitar, synths, and keyboards, and Daz Fletcher on vocals, guitar, and guitar synth.

The band does what they do well though there isn't a lot of variation across the songs. Among the standout tracks is "The Seers Song" and "Meet Thy Maker" which make up one 12-minute track that opens with pulsating, gurgling synths and soon settles into a throbbing groove. Before long it starts to rock out and the rest of the tune is a solid space jam. "Soul Sacrifice" was another track I enjoyed with it's pounding rhythm, wind blowing synths, and freakout guitar. "Curtain Of Time" is a more overtly electronic tune that maintains a steady repeating beat and synth lines while the guitar solos along.

Hawkwind fanatics will enjoy this though I'll wager these guys are far more exciting live than on disc. And while they manage to make it succeed I still think the guitar is the main weak spot. It sounds great, but seems to fumble along too much. Three are some great performance photos and news clippings on the Peace Of Mind British spacerock web site.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz 




Dr. Hasbeen - "Spirit of Brock"
(Self-released/Foundry Studio 1998, DRHAS 007CD CD-R)

No, it's not Dave Brock himself at work on this one, but rather one Martyn Needham (of Derby, England) who has 'appropriated' the Hasbeen moniker for himself. From what I've heard, he's also released two earlier CDs, entitled "2125" and "Prophetic Obscurities." On "Spirit of Brock," vocalist/guitarist/synth-master Needham and his cohorts (Daz Fletcher on lead guitar, Sue Annable on drums/vocals, and Jake Billington on bass) quickly crank through six space-rockers very much in the Hawkwind vein.

Funky synths and a bit of guitar fanfare kick off "Beyond Control," and although some chant-style vocals chime in eventually, this isn't really a fully-fledged tune. But a nice opening statement nonetheless. Heavier rhythm guitars start off "Mugs of War" with that effects-laden sound that Pressurehed use so often. The problem here is the vocals, bass, and drums are all mixed down well below the twin guitar tracks. "Why Syb" is a tad better in this department, and is a nice astral journey with ebbing-and-flowing synth tones and syrupy vocals offered by Annable. Sequenced electronic pulses lead into "Man's Greatest Enemy," where Fletcher demonstrates his chops on guitar and Needham contributes echoed poetic vocals over the spacey-synth backdrop. Truly the "Spirit of Brock." In fact, the title track follows next, and is a true tribute to the Hawkwind baron. I can't pick out all the lyrics, but there's no doubt who their heroes are. "Mugs of War (Part 2)" bears little resemblance to the earlier track, relying on more layers of pulsating and swirling synths and Fletcher's melodic leads.

This is pretty good material, but doesn't stray too far from the time-honored tradition of 70s space rock. Whether Needham's truly a 'hasbeen' or not I can't say, as I'm not certain where he came from. But I'd like to hear more from this quartet anyway, especially since this disc only runs about 23 minutes. And I'm not so happy with the quality of the mix here. The lower-end rhythm section needs to be brought out more, a mistake that Brock himself would never make.

Reviewed by Keith Henderson