Sonic Attack is the eleventh studio album by the English space rock group Hawkwind, released in 1981. It spent five weeks on the UK albums chart peaking at #19.
After the departure of drummer Ginger Baker and keyboardist Keith Hale following the previous album Levitation, former Hawklords drummer Martin Griffin accepted the opportunity to re-join the group, while guitarist Dave Brock and bassist Harvey Bainbridge decided to forgo a dedicated keyboardist and to handle synthesisers and sequencers themselves.
The album was recorded June through August 1981 at Rockfield Studios, but during recording drummer Griffin contracted German measles, curtailing his contributions and resulting in him having to overdub some of his drum parts. Of Brock's tracks, Bainbridge explained the recording process as "Dave turned up with his eight track, dumped what he had onto the multi-track and the rest of us somehow had to play around what he'd done". Science fiction author Michael Moorcock, a long-standing associate of the group, contributes lyrics and vocals to the album, his theme being social control through the use of language.
Musically it is one of the group's most heavy metal-influenced albums. The title track, "Sonic Attack", is a re-recording of the Space Ritual spoken piece with a new electronic backing. "Virgin of the World" is credited as being from Church of Hawkwind, and it appeared on that album in a different form as "Experiment with Destiny". "Angels of Death" was released as a single backed by the non-album "Transdimensional Man".
The group undertook a 28 date UK tour in September and October to promote the album, with support from Mama's Boys. An additional seven date Christmas followed, which saw former members Robert Calvert, Nik Turner and Moorcock guest on the London Rainbow date. A 13 date European tour in March 1982 followed, supporting Krokus.
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