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Warlocks
Heavy Deavy Skull Lover
(Tee Pee Records)

The name Warlocks has a special place in the annals of Rock’n’Roll. It was the name of the band formed by Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Angus MacLise just prior to the formation of the Velvet Underground. It was also the name of a seminal Haight Ashbury band that would eventually metamorphose into the Grateful Dead. And then there is the subject of this review, the shambolic, revival-tent siblings of Los Angeles’ Brian Jonestown Massacre.

These Warlocks have been assembling a history of their own. This seven piece rock band has shaken up the Los Angeles bar scene with heavy, garage-psych powered by two drummers and three guitars. Releases on Bomp and Birdman followed in relatively quick succession. The band decided to go for the brass ring and hired producer Tim Rothrock to man the controls on their first release for Mute entitled Surgery. Fingers got caught in the brass ring and the band was forcibly ejected from their “ride”.

Heavy Deavy Skull Lover is the record that was created in the aftermath of their dismount. The band has splintered, reduced to a four piece. Although this might be considered their weakest set of songs, it is by far their best record. The pretense of past ambitions and the contrivances that accompany them have been stripped away and the band is simply playing music for the pleasure of it. This is deeply psychedelic music filigreed in grime. Strangely, they have assimilated a bit of Radiohead. There is a raft of sinister arpeggiated guitar lines, the sort that Jonny Greenwood is so fond of. Some of the vocals have the abdicative murmur, although certainly not the range of, Thom Yorke. This record meanders and it is the better for it.

-— Jesse Srogoncik, February 6th, 2008

Discography
The Warlocks — The Warlocks (Bomp, 2000)
The Warlocks — Rise And Fall (Bomp, 2001)
The Warlocks — Phoenix EP (Birdman, 2002)
The Warlocks — Phoenix Album (Birdman, 2002)
The Warlocks — Phoenix [UK] (Mute, 2003)
The Warlocks — Surgery (Mute/Birdman, 2005)
The Warlocks — Heavy Deavy Skull Lover (Tee Pee, 2007)


-Jesse


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