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The Warlocks – Skull Worship (2013) review

December 3, 2013

The Warlocks – Skull Worship (2013) review

The Warlocks “Skull Worship” (Zap Banana, 2013)
               The
makeup of their membership has changed lots since their 2000 debut EP on Bomp!,
but The Warlocks’ approach never really alters all that much.  This is clearly due to the fact that while
his bandmates come and go, Bobby Hecksher has been the head Warlock from the
beginning and continues in that role.
               This, their eighth full length album, is more of the
droned-out space rock they’re known for, about 40 minutes of unrelentingly
dreamscapy sounds. They make you think of Spacemen 3 and Loop, early Velvet Underground
and The Silver Apples, and any number of more contemporary spacey acts who have
recorded for labels such as Thrill Jockey and Kranky. But what stands out about
The Warlocks is that, while listening to them gets you name-checking their
influences and soundalikes, they have their own unique stamp that they put on
the style of humming, buzzing dirges. This is no small feat at this time in
left-of-center pop/rock history, when too many bands get so caught up in
carefully emulating their heroes that they don’t manage to create any space
that could be called theirs.
               Skull
Worship
, which Hecksher considers the last part of a trilogy that also includes
their two previous long players – 2007’s Heavy Deavy Skull Lover and ‘09’s The
Mirror Explodes
– has a ritualistic vibe. 
It sounds like something that might get played before a séance or other
such eerie ceremony, to get the attendants in the proper, otherworldly
headspace. Each song has its own avenue it goes out on but the overall bent is
consistent in being dark, trippy, and warped. 
It can be disorienting to listen to the record then go about your
business in the workaday world – disorienting in a pleasant way, that is, if
you’re somebody who welcomes going through your day with your head a little
bent. The band sounds like they neither know nor care what year it is. I don’t
know that they could win over any new fans with this album, but it’s sure to
get heavy rotation among those already entranced by them.
Review made by Brian Greene/2013
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2013
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