Exposé Online banner

Pre-Med — Medication Time
(Hawkwind Records HAWKVP39CD, 2006, CD)

Pre-Med — Einstein's Day Off
((Not on label) no#, 2013, CD)

Pre-Med — Hawkestrel Presents Pre-Med
(Cleopatra , 2013/2020, 3CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2021-02-22

Medication Time Cover artEinstein's Day Off Cover artHawkestrel Presents Pre-Med Cover art

Alan Davey has seen a massive amount of activity in the last few years, and reissues of his past material comprises a large part of that. He’s got Hawkestrel going now, and his earlier band Pre-Med now sees the reissue of their albums packaged as Hawkestrel Presents Pre-Med, a 3CD set collecting all three of Pre-Med’s studio albums, which were originally released in 2005 (Medication Time), 2008 (The Truth about Us), and 2013 (Einstein’s Day Off). We’ve already covered the middle album, so I’ll focus on the other two. Pre-Med was fronted by Danny Faulkner, who sang, played drums and keyboards, and wrote the bulk of the music. Medication Time (originally released as Invisible Spies) is a trippy album of Hawkwind-inflected space rock that is in many ways more listenable than many Hawkwind albums. The balance of riffing, punkish energy, and spaced-out electronics is just right, so for every catchy rock tune like “Up All Night” there’s a weird synthesizer interlude like “No Smoking.” Some tracks, like “Invisible Spies,” feature elements of both, starting out with floating impressionistic electronics, then morphing into a sequencer-driven electronic rock song. Lewis Turner’s lead guitar caps the tune, and between Davey’s overdriven bass and Faulkner’s mixture of acoustic and electronic drums, the tune just works. The kinds of sequences that back many of these tracks might ordinarily be described as “bubbling” but at these tempos, that word seems too gentle — these rapid notes drive the music ahead, challenging the human players to keep up. A couple of the tracks may go on a bit longer than they need to, but that’s a small flaw in an otherwise strong album.

By the time of Einstein’s Day Off, Steve Leigh had come on to handle keyboards and Hawkwind alum Danny Thompson took over the drums, leaving Faulkner with lead vocals and keyboards. The credits are quite confusing (and online resources contradictory), so I can’t be completely sure that the guitar was played by Eamon O'Neill. The style is intact, as is the level of quality, with tunes such as “Bang Goes the Theory,” “Cern,” “Energise,” and the title track. Keyboards play a slightly more prominent role in the melodies, though there’s lots of solid guitar work as well, and Davey’s bass could be viewed as the driving force behind the band. “Biosphere” is a quieter song that provides a break from the high energy of most of the rest of the album. It’s another great offering from a band that seems unfairly overlooked.

After Einstein’s Day Off, big changes remade the band, with Faulkner, Davey, and O’Neill leaving and bassist Dave Saunders taking the helm for a time, followed by drummer Rick Burtonshaw. Their website promises the band is still a going concern, though as of this writing in early 2021, it’s uncertain what form it will take. I suppose fans could debate the validity of packaging Pre-Med’s music under the Hawkestrel name, but it’s good to have this music more widely available.


Filed under: Archives, 2006 releases, 2013 releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Pre-Med, Alan Davey / Hawkestrel

More info
http://hawkestrel.bandcamp.com/album/hawkestrel-presents-pre-med

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Caravan - The Battle of Hastings – A reunion of the line-up which brought you For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night (1973) , and The Album (1880), here comes another by a group which has evolved into a well-honed pop/song crafted...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues