Huw Lloyd-Langton - "On the Move"
(BMA Records 1997, C-0318-S)
From Aural Innovations #3 (July 1998)
Following a brief stint with the UK psychedelic band Dr. Brown, the ex-Hawkwind axeman has reemerged with this newest version of the Lloyd-Langton Group. Building atop a decade-long and somewhat erratic solo career (the high point being 'Like an Arrow...Through the Heart' (1987) in this reviewer's eyes), here we see Huwy back in fine form. The songs Lloyd-Langton writes these days don't really reflect his spacerock past, but his signature soaring leads are once again the main attraction, and this album is overflowing with prime examples of his fluid technique. Huw Lloyd-Langton's all-new Swedish backing musicians are credible though nothing special, leaving Huw's fretwork and gravelly vocals to run the show.
The twelve tracks constitute a mixture of new and old compositions (co-written, as always, with his wife Marion), the latter being remakes of songs from LLG albums made back in the 80's. Two of the strongest cuts from the aforementioned 'Like an Arrow...' are redone here; both the tragic 'I Could Cry' and the energetic instrumental 'On the Move' are given new life, though perhaps unnecessarily as these versions don't deviate much from the originals. Yet since the earlier album has never reappeared on CD, it's nice to have these tracks available finally on this disc, a sort of 'then-and-now' package. The really necessary reworking here is of the title track from the very first LLG album, 'Outside the Law,' an abysmally-poor quality live recording from 1984. As it turns out, this is one really fine tune and is the most cosmic sounding track on the album, at times hearkening back to the frequent lilting lead lines and embellishing licks of his Hawkwind days, circa 'Levitation'.
The new songs from 'On the Move' (ironically) look back even farther, as I see a strong resemblance to the bluesy guitar heroes of the 70's such as Robin Trower and Tommy Bolin. This is true both on the slower ballads like 'Farewell' and bluesy rockers like 'Finally Finding,' where Huw's soloing takes center stage in a most Troweresque fashion. I don't care if I've heard this sort of thing a million times, I still find it to be a joyous listening experience. All in all, this is a pretty strong album, and proves that Huw Lloyd-Langton can still play. Hopefully, now we'll see the rest of his back catalogue show up in digital format.
Reviewed by Keith Henderson