The Warlocks, The Mirror Explodes

The Warlocks, The Mirror Explodes

Psychedelic music often gets a bad rap for its close kinship to ’60s hippie culture. Despite modern psychedelic rock’s distance from its groovier brethren, its dedication to mind-altering substances often does the music more harm than good. Early psychedelic music was the result of a time, mostly, while much of today’s psych rock relies too heavily on the style rather than the substance.

The Warlocks are as guilty of this as any band, as was evidenced by the band’s last album, Heavy Deavy Skull Lover. The Bay Area stoners redeem themselves with their latest release, however. The Mirror Explodes still reflects the band’s dark, brooding sound, but longtime fans will appreciate frontman Bobby Hecksher’s ability to create new material that doesn’t sound completely rehashed.

While nothing on The Mirror Explodes has the instant addictiveness of anything on Phoenix or Surgery, “Standing Between The Lovers Of Hell” and the wonderfully drone-y “There Is A Formula To Your Despair” are among the album’s best. Each song is classic Warlocks material, full of fuzzy feedback and low-key melodies, but the latter is the closest thing to a ballad Hecksher has written — it never builds to an explosive peak the way the band’s songs typically do — while the other capitalizes on the group’s strongest points: drawn-out intros, soft-spoken vocals, and catchy (for The Warlocks, anyway) choruses. “Frequency Meltdown,” the album’s token instrumental jam, is a shoo-in for being great live, which is how the band’s music is best experienced.

[The Warlocks are playing 8/22/09 at Walter's on Washington, along with The Morning After Girls & The Vandelles.]
(Tee Pee Records -- 30-98 Crescent St. Apt. A1, Astoria, NY. 11102; http://www.teepeerecords.com/; The Warlocks -- http://www.thewarlocks.com/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Friday, August 21st, 2009. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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