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
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.
THE SEERS SONG
THE TIME WATCHER
LOOKING GLASS / END OF DAYS
DEATH METAL HEAD
WAVES OF ALIENS
AXIS OF EVIL
COUNTDOWN / THE FINAL FIGHT
WORLD OF DREAMS
RETURN TO THE AFTERLIFE
MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact via snail mail c/o Dr Hasbeen; 34 Hallfieldgate Lane; Shirland; Derbyshire; De556AA; England.
Reviewed by Charles Van de Kree
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
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