oly windowpane! What the heck is this!
Those were my reactions at 2 AM as I pulled myself from my spot on the floor. My brain had been turned to cottage cheese by the primordial oozing psych damage of The Warlocks full length release Rise and Fall.
Was I hearing Syd Barrett front Sun Ra’s Arkestra? Did Jerry Garcia join the Stooges? All these ideas raced through my spinning head that by now was filled with the lysergic power of the group.
Many groups have used the moniker The Warlocks, most notably The Velvet Underground and The Grateful Dead, a trivial fact I am sure not lost on founding member Bobby Hecksher, a veteran of the Los Angeles music scene. This is a man that has played with The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Beck, been ripped off by The Rentals, almost joined Weezer, and signed his Bomp! record contract in blood.
The bands roots stem from the Velvets and early ballroom psychedelic freak-outs as well as recent pop noise players like Spacemen 3, Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine. What sets The Warlocks apart is unlike many of the drone rock contemporaries, The Warlocks actually ROCK and do so without resorting to some retro-trip.
The group of seven, which consist of FOUR guitarists and TWO drummers, has created an album that consists of three jams: "Skull Death Drum Jam", "Jam of the Witches" and "Jam of the Zombies". Before you start to think this is one of those H.O.R.D.E. bands. These jams are the kind the 13th Elevators played or the space babble of early Pink Floyd. Their songs are long but never boring. “A Song for Nico” is a funeral homage to The Velvet Underground with its dark vibe. Its chiming interwoven guitars and tingling tambourines build into a wall of beautiful white noise. "House of Glass" is built from The Rolling Stones "Wild Horses" stoned country balladry and "Salt Of The Earth" bliss that conjures up the children of Altamont.
In fact, this is dark psychedelia. This is no sunshine daydream, dancing bear acid trip. This is the bad brown acid shit. The kind that has Charlie Manson’s girls coming around. The kind that has you scrambling to reread those Crowley books. The Warlocks know what rock n' roll has always been about, something visceral, something dangerous. This is music that enters your mind and your body.
Reviewed by: Tom Casetta
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01