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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect reissue....
I've bought this CD now mainly for nostalgic reasons. I got into Hawkwind the year before Sonic Attack was released, and after seeing the band play for the first time at The Roundhouse in December 1980, I became a regular follower of the band, seeing them live quite a few times on tour and at festivals during the early 80s. Thus the songs on this album seem to have worn...
Published on 25 Feb. 2010 by Jim

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars average sort of album
I think we should stop presenting each new Hawkwind "remaster" as a timeless classic, because even Hawkwind put out some pretty average albums in their time, and this is one of them. at the time of its release they'd just joined up with a new record label (RCA) and certain powers were pointing their music towards rock n roll commerciality; it wasn't until they left the...
Published on 8 April 2010 by F. M. Havicon


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect reissue...., 25 Feb. 2010
By 
Jim (South Devon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sonic Attack (Audio CD)
I've bought this CD now mainly for nostalgic reasons. I got into Hawkwind the year before Sonic Attack was released, and after seeing the band play for the first time at The Roundhouse in December 1980, I became a regular follower of the band, seeing them live quite a few times on tour and at festivals during the early 80s. Thus the songs on this album seem to have worn deep grooves in my brain: although I haven't listened to this record in years, it is all so familiar. I'm guessing that many attracted to revisiting Sonic Attack in 2010 will be treading a similar path of reacquaintance.

Those considering dipping in again may be wondering what you get. The album comes in a double CD jewel case enclosed in a card slipcase. The latter nicely shows off the striking album artwork. The first CD has the remastered version of the original album. The sound quality is good, though I have no other versions of the album to compare it to. The second CD has a generous collection of bonus material of varying quality and interest, including extended and alternate versions of some of the songs on CD 1. All in all it's a very nice package, and it is hard to think of any way in which Atomhenge could have bettered this release. I would like to emphasise that I have given `5 stars' for the quality and value of the re-issue. Anyone who likes this album will surely be more than pleased with this release.

Regarding the music itself, I would hesitate to go beyond 3 stars. There are some good songs that have stood the test of time: Rocky Paths, Angels of Death, perhaps Streets of Fear, but this is not an album that I would very often play all the way through (my preferred way of enjoying music). Even back in the day I think we all realised Sonic Attack, for all the fun of being into the band at that time, wasn't really up there with the early to mid-70s space rock `glory days' of Hawkwind, or even the eclectic and experimental late 70s Charisma period.

However, to give them their due, Hawkwind were never a band to stand still, and undoubtably updated their sound on Sonic Attack. You could say that the 70s-style spacey chugga chugga bleep whoosh had given way to a much more rocking dagga dagga crash bang. The tone is also quite different to the slick, sumptuous studio perfection found on the previous year's Levitation - there is a harder edge to Huw Lloyd-Langton's guitar chops, and a brisk, urgent rhythm section. The vocals are strident, even shouty; the drum sound is quite harsh and crashing, and the playing has an automaton-like metronomic quality, all perhaps reflecting the technofear and distrust of authority evident in the lyrics of several of the songs. Here, at least, the band were prescient: in the nearly 30 years (I can hardly believe it is so long) since Sonic Attack first hit the largely CCTV-free streets, Big Brother has certainly been very busy!

To sum up: although not amongst my personal favourite Hawkwind albums, this is a very high quality re-issue that anyone who is into early 80s RCA period Hawkwind should not hesitate to acquire.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atomhenge Do It Again!, 23 Feb. 2010
By 
Rog "Rog" (Staffordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sonic Attack (Audio CD)
Released on 22 February 2010, my copy arrived on 24 February - well done Amazon, as always - the customer can rely on you!

I'm not going to go into a "song by song" review of this album, as I'm not sure that's necessary. What I will say is that this Atomhenge remastered version of Sonic Attack is simply astonishing! I've owned the vinyl version of this album since it was first released but this CD is remarkable! It's like being surrounded by the music, it fills your listening space and it is so crisp and involving. Hawkwind's music has been crying out for this treatment for countless years and now, finally, it has received the treatment it so fully deserves.

If you like Hawkwind and don't own this CD, then you really ought to consider buying it. Also, if you don't already own it, buy the limited edition Levitation box set because that is a work of art!

I'm not exactly the sort of bloke to go splashing cash about, I expect something of quality for my money and this CD in particular delivers that - well done once again Atomhenge!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars average sort of album, 8 April 2010
By 
F. M. Havicon (Brighton, East Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sonic Attack (Audio CD)
I think we should stop presenting each new Hawkwind "remaster" as a timeless classic, because even Hawkwind put out some pretty average albums in their time, and this is one of them. at the time of its release they'd just joined up with a new record label (RCA) and certain powers were pointing their music towards rock n roll commerciality; it wasn't until they left the RCA label for Flicknife that they really returned to form (Black Sword onwards) with the freedom to persue their own direction wityhout interference. just a lot of shouting tracks really - Virgin/Angels of Death something of a standout classic but all the rest really insignificantly ordinary stuff. and beware the live version of this album - seems like every original release is now being shadowed by a live recording, not released at the time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality remaster., 23 Feb. 2010
By 
This review is from: Sonic Attack (Audio CD)
'Sonic Attack' is another quality remaster from AtomHenge's growing list, and has a disc of extra material which for me is particularly welcome because of the extended version of 'Living in a Knife Edge'. The two discs are housed in a jewel-case with a quality multipage booklet and card outer sheath for the jewel-case.
One of three RCA releases from the early 1980's, 'Sonic Attack' includes some great material. That said, like the other albums from their RCA period ('Church of Hawkwind' and 'Choose Your Masques'), *in my opinion* it also has some slightly less memorable material too. I still love 'Rocky Paths', 'Angels of Death', and 'Living on a Knife Edge' and it's great to hear them on CD, rather than tired vinyl, in their original context. Hawkwind's early 1980's period may prove to be something of an acquired taste. Five stars for the quality of the remaster, for making this elusive recording readily available again, and for the bonus material/value for money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 28 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: Sonic Attack (Audio CD)
I don't give 5 star ratings on a regular basis but this re-issue deserves the full 5 stars. Magnificent songwriting, performances, not one average track among them. Even the out-takes have the sound & feel of fully formed songs unlike the usual studio out takes & demos which are half finished or you can hear why the songs did not end up on the finished album.
I would agree with previous reviewers this is one of the best Hawkwind albums & is one the best albums released in the 80's.
A perfect treat for a cold, wet February.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One of the weakest Hawkwind Albums, 24 July 2010
This review is from: Sonic Attack (Audio CD)
I'm quite amazed by the favourable reviews for this album. As much as I like Hawkwind this really is a strong candiate for the worst and it's not saved by the bonus tracks. Although the most helpful review gives the album five starts it actually gives the music three and it's the music that counts and I can't go beyond two.

It's not all bad. Virgin of the World is the outstanding track from the original album. Disintergration provides relief from a run of poor tacks and Streets of Fear is a very decent track. Angles of Death has a decent riff but the lyrics are shockingly bad. The second half of Living on a Knife Edge is OK. For the rest the songwringing and arrangements are quite poor. 10 years later the lyrics to Living on a Knife Edge were used to much better effect on The Camera That Could Lie. Instead of the melodic lead guitar of Levitation we get tend to get metalish noodling.

The bonus tracks do include Transdimensional Man, which rivals Virgin of the World as the best track on the album. The version of Living on a Knife Edge is much better, as is the version of Sonic Attack. Streets of Fear and Speed of Light (which is Transdimensional Man) are similar to the Weird 7 demos album but with much weaker though cleaner mixes. We also get a demo of Fall of Earth City from Church of Hawkwind which is also a weaker version while Devilish Dirge is an extended version of a brief part of another track from that album which doesn't merit its length here. There's really not much to recommend.

Although it's part of Hawkwind's weakest period, along with The Chronicles of the Black Sword and Live Chronicles it looks more like a blip when you consider it's surrounded by Levitation, Church of Hawkwind, Choose Your Masques, The Earth Ritual EP and even the Weird 7 demos album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another solid re-issue, 3 Mar. 2010
By 
Tony Jones "Tony" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sonic Attack (Audio CD)
Once more Atomhenge give us a CD re-issue with a bonus CD packed full of goodies and a decent booklet. The actual disc is pretty much as you would expect, though I think Huw is a bit muddied on Rocky Paths. Apart from that the disc is fine, but not startlingly better than the last CD version to my ears.

The extras disc starts with a single release version of Angels of Death and Transdimensional Man then moves to the good stuff, lots of demo and extended versions of tracks. Brock's Sonic Attack is not as good as Harvey on the main disc, much material points to overlap with Church of Hawkwind (coming soon) and I liked the Living on a Knife Edge (extended). Definitely worth a few listens.

Overall a good set of tunes, some better than others, well produced, packaged and priced.

Keep it up!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sci Fi rock n roll, 7 Mar. 2010
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Mr Blackwell (scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sonic Attack (Audio CD)
i have to go against the previous reviews,i dont believe this has ever been a five star album,it was a pretty decent album back in the 80's but not 5 stars.

What do we get ,the original disc remastered and to these ears a couple of muddy moments ,certainly rocky paths,and not an improvement on the essential broadcast system release .

so the 2nd disc has all the points to prove,like the other releases atomhenge have found some superb stuff,the highlight being the extended version of livin on a knife edge.This period of Hawkwind found the band becoming slightly heavier amalgamating their SciFi rock with the metal fans(Angels of Death) and they do it very well,however it is a good album rather than top drawer like its predeccesor 'Levitation'

Congrats to Atomhenge again
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Flawless Atomhenge Reissue!, 2 Mar. 2010
By 
A. W. Furniss "coldwarkid" (Northampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sonic Attack (Audio CD)
This underrated 1981 gem gets the treatment it deserves with outstanding sound quality, a generous platter of bonus tracks, and beautiful packaging. Perhaps controversially, I think the studio update on Sonic Attack is pretty effective, but - of course - the real highlights here are the soaring, spectacular Rocky Paths and the menacing spaceadelic grunge of Angels Of Death. Elsewhere, eerie sci-fi soundscapes and edgy, memorable rockers abound. Definitely a worthy successor to Levitation though not quite as consistently impressive as that classic. Ade Furniss.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Remaster, 14 April 2015
This review is from: Sonic Attack (Audio CD)
This is an excellent purchase and one of the essentials from the Hawkwind catalogue. There have been a number of phases or changes in sound during the bands 46 years thus far and Sonic Attack was the start of one of them. Whist always having been pioneers of electronics this album saw the band enter a phase where the electronics became more sophisticated and worked in tandem with a harder rockier sound. I group this album along with Church of Hawkwind and Choose Your Masques as one complete phase, I've always loved Dave Brocks vocals and there are plenty of them on all 3 albums. On Sonic Attack, all the tracks bar 2 are sung by Dave, there is the excellent Rocky Paths sung competently by Huw Lloyd Langton and Michael Moorcock handles vocals on the freak out that is Coded Languages. Moorcock makes a welcome return after many years to also recite the warning that is Sonic Attack (the track), fans were delighted Moorcock was back, he had been the inspiration for many songs and to have him perform was a treat indeed.
This remastered package comes as a double cd, one cd has the remaster of the album and the second has demos, alternate takes and some extra new tracks. It is marvellous to have some bonus tracks but it is the remastering of the original album that really floats my boat. It has been done sympathetically, you can crank it up loud and loose non of the clarity, the electronics are crisp and sharp and the tracks rock, Huw Lloyd Langton's leads sound better than ever. There isn't a bad track to be heard, they are all great songs and Angels of Death and Rocky Paths are as much anthems as the classics, eg. Master of the Universe or Silver Machine. Harvey Bainbridge and Dave Brocks electronic programing had come on in leaps and bounds on this album, it was around this time that Dave Brock started disappearing behind banks of keyboards although his trademark rhythm guitar is as strong as ever. I love this album and the package is great value, I normally begrudge buying albums on cd that I have on vinyl but the material and remastering are of such a high standard that in this case buying was a pleasure. For the ultimate sonic experience, get mellow, put on the headphones and remember, 'Think only of yourself!'.
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