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Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Eclipses – THE WARLOCKS: Songs from the pale eclipse (Cleopatra Records, 2016)

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The Warlocks, activos desde comienzos de la década de los dos mil, parece que continúan adelante con su inspiración Neo-Psicodélica, ahondando incluso más en esa vena lisérgica que en sus últimos lanzamientos habían dejado algo atrás.
Songs from the pale eclipse es ya su noveno lanzamiento.

“According to the liner notes to Songs from the Pale Eclipse, the ninth album from psych-drone explorers the Warlocks, group leader Bobby Hecksher works mostly on inspiration, and once he gets an idea for a new song, he begins recording it as soon as he can. This method has left Hecksher with a big pile of odds and ends over the years, and Songs from the Pale Eclipse was assembled from his recording archives, with some of the tracks dating back ten years. If these ten songs were leftovers, it would seem they were set aside for thematic reasons and not because of questions of quality. Songs from the Pale Eclipse sounds like an archetypal Warlocks album, and is close to their usual level of quality; Hecksher and his accompanists are still sonic cartographers mapping the same psychedelic netherworld as they drift down rivers of thick, buzzy guitar and low-end drone past banks of feedback. The Warlocks have delivered another album of psychedelia for the middle of the night, with passages of narcotic bliss interrupted by undertows of night terrors, and Hecksher and his most recent allies (featuring most of the participants from 2013’s Skull Worship, including guitarists J.C. Rees and Earl V. Miller, bassist Chris Di Pino, and drummer George Serrano) bring this to semi-life with their usually impressive level of skill. As usual, Hecksher‘s lyrics are essentially an afterthought, and the finale, “The Arp Made Me Cry,” is just silly enough that it should have stayed in the slush pile. But for the most part, Songs from the Pale Eclipse once again finds Bobby Hecksher following his muse through the night skies, and the chase continues to bring him worthy results” (All Music)

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2 junio, 2017 Posted by | The Warlocks | Deja un comentario

The Warlocks: Skull worship (2014)

The Warlocks’s avatar

Distorsión y Reiteración

The Warlocks se han convertido ya en una banda clásica del panorama del Pop Psicodélico. Han evolucionado lentamente desde sus comienzos (numerosos cambios de formación que sólo han dejado a Bobby Hecksher al frente del proyecto) les han llevado a convertirse en un grupo diríamos que casi “de culto”. No han dejado de lado su faceta más obsesiva por el Pop oscuro, introspectivo adornado de ciertas luces psicodélicas, aunque en este Skull worship se han acercado más a territorios más Drone. Personalmente, opino que no es ni de lejos su mejor trabajo, y me quedo justamente con el tema que abre el mismo (Dead generation) y con el que lo cierra, de manera brillante (Eyes jam). Enmedio, nos vamos encontrando con demasiados medios tiempos algo reiterativos.

As former associates of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, LA quintet The Warlocks can almost lay claim to a similar number of line-up changes throughout their fifteen-year existence. While bandleader Bobby Hecksher and long term songwriting partner JC Rees remain, there’s a changed look about The Warlocks version 2k13 from the one that last appeared with 2009’s The Mirror Explodes. Despite the shifts in personnel, the band’s sound hasn’t really differentiated that much from where it set out on 2001’s Rise And Fall. And even though that’s probably one of the reasons they’ve retained “cult” status for so long, it’s something that’s served them well throughout the past decade-and-a-half. Not least with the current surge of interest in all things related to psychedelic rock.
That the gestation period for Skull Worship – their eighth album – took two years on top of the two in hiatus since its predecessors release perhaps speaks more about Hecksher’s alleged reputation as something of a perfectionist than anything else. Slated as the final part of a musical trilogy that started with Heavy Deavy Skull Lover in 2007, Skull Worship drifts between a rock and a hard place almost akin to a game of two halves. Influenced by the likes of T Rex and Neu! as well as the usual psych behemoths such as Spacemen 3 and Hawkwind, it traverses between the dense, sonic palette of Phoenix, arguably the band’s finest hour, and a more tranquil, introspective line similar to the one punctuating Rise And Fall’s ebullient core.
Opener ‘Dead Generation’ carries The Warlocks most prophetic statement of intent to date. A bleak yet infectious call to arms that even makes a play for radio, admittedly of the 6Music rather than 1Xtra variety. Constructed around a nagging guitar riff, it is not a million miles away from ‘Come Save Us’ off 2005’sSurgery and acts as a domineering launchpad to announce the band’s return as 2013 draws to a close. ‘Chameleon’ too sounds like The Warlocks of old, fusing droning guitars with insistent pounding rhythms like a sonic rollercoaster.
There’s a brief respite on the reflective ‘Endless Drops’, Hecksher’s vocals once more buried in the mix for extra instrumentation. By the time George Serrano’s drums convey the song to another level of sonic velocity, its densely orchestrated bassline matching the guitars notch for notch in the volume stakes. ‘Silver & Plastic’ also follows a laidback path, relying on a brooding intensity rather than ear shredding assault to get its creators’ message across. Clocking in at just under three-and-a-half minutes, ‘He Looks Good In Space’ is possibly The Warlocks at their most experimentally dreamy. Drawing on backwards masked guitar parts, haunting overdubs and umpteen layers, it concentrates on assorted levels of sound inference rather than traditional song structure and is all the more refreshing for it.
While ‘You’ve Changed’ once again veers between introspective melancholy and disconcerted anger, penultimate number ‘It’s A Hard Fall’ goes for the jugular, packing its wall of sound with chugging riffs and distorted feedback to ultimately satisfying success. By the time ‘Eyes Jam’ brings Skull Worship to its close in a similar, improvised fashion to ‘Oh Shadie’ off Phoenix or ‘Suicide Note’ fromSurgery, there’s a feeling of quiet contentment within Camp Warlocks. Although not quite being the pièce de résistance Bobby Hecksher and co. were hoping for,Skull Worship is a welcome return and when all’s said and done, the musical landscape would be a much duller place without them” (Drowned in Sound)


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23 abril, 2014 Posted by | The Warlocks | Deja un comentario

The Warlocks: Come save us (2005)

Después del post de ayer, no he podido resistir la tentación de compartir con vosotros este vídeo extraído de su álbum de 2005, Surgery.

8 agosto, 2009 Posted by | The Warlocks | Deja un comentario

The Warlocks: The Mirror Explodes (2009), Tee Pee Records

Lo primero que hemos de decir sobre este ya quinto álbum de la banda californiana The Warlocks es que para tratarse de un disco de Shoegaze más o menos experimental y bastante alternativo es que nos encanta su duración: Justo tres cuartos de hora, que se pasan volando; ningún tipo de desarrollos exagerados ni extenuantes marcan la audición de este The Mirror Explodes (2009). Un trabajo que en su género es sin duda de lo mejor del año; una obra conceptual que hemos de oír de un tirón si queremos tener una idea más o menos exacta de lo que la banda intenta transmitirnos: Un viaje psicodélico a traves de un espacio sonoro conseguido con la experiencia que dan cuatro álbumes precedentes. Una fórmula hábilmente trabajada que consigue, al final, con Static eyes cerrar de manera armónica y magistral ese trip psicodélico del que hablamos y que se inicia con una joya del Space-Rock mezclada con elementos de la Juventud Sónica (uno de sus referentes) y la locura genial de Syd Barret como es Red Camera. El disco lo componen ocho temas y en ellos encontramos todos los elementos del género: Noise (The midnight sun, Frequency meltdown); Experimentación (Slowly dissappearing, You make me wait); aproximaciones al Pop/Shoegaze (Standing between the lovers of hell, There is a formula to your dispair). Un discazo en toda regla que entra a formar parte del cuadro de honor de lo que va de año en el que estamos viviendo un resurgir brutal del Shoegaze, aunque a The Warlocks no se les podrá acusar, en ninguna manera, de ser unos oportunistas.
“Indeed, there is no such thing as a “classic” Warlocks line-up, a factor made more apparent by the consistently high standards set by each of their releases. Although possibly the shortest long player they’ve ever constructed, The Mirror Explodes is no less endearing. Whereas previous albums Surgery and Heavy Deavy Skull Lover both seemed to focus on skullcrushingly loud atmospherics, this feels like more of a comedown, a document to accompany the aftermath of a psychedelic trip to enlightenment, or as some might say, just another average day in the life of The Warlocks.
However, what you and I may consider to be average would be a million miles away from Hecksher and co., as song titles like ‘Standing Between The Lovers Of Hell’ and ‘There Is A Formula To Your Despair’ suggest. With the current shoegaze revival in full swing, they’ve probably chosen the right time to unleash The Mirror Explodes, although one accusation no one could ever level at The Warlocks would be to brand them as calculated mercenaries; far from it in fact, as their refusal to build on the (near) commercial success of album number two Phoenix seven years ago evidently demonstrates.
Despite their being a more mellow aura throughout the record, there’s still a gnawing level of intensity, not to mention the band’s legendary three-guitar assault. New bassist Jana Risher also brings a more dominant, brooding kind of menace to their already cataleptic sound, transforming the aforementioned ‘Standing Between The Lovers Of Hell’ and closing epic ‘Static Eyes’ into orgasmic trance-like epilogues that shift between drone and dirge effortlessly.
Gone are the days when songs like ‘Baby Blue’ or ‘Hurricane Heart Attack’ could be considered radio-friendly in a perverse parallel universe. None of the eight pieces of music here fit into that vein in any way shape or form. ‘Red Camera’ and ‘Slowly Disappearing’ both evoke morbid fantasies (or should that be nightmares?) yet prove richly engaging, while the penultimate surge of ‘Frequency Meltdown’ – the now customary instrumental jam that The Warlocks include on nearly all of their albums – is possibly their most incisive to date, a swirling six-minute opus that mixes Sound Of Confusion-era Spacemen 3 dynamics with a structure reminiscent of the first Doors record.
That this record will probably go largely ignored by many is rather sad. Though no longer flavour of the month in ‘cool’ circles, as far as The Warlocks are concerned it’s business as usual, and The Mirror Explodes is up there with their finest works to date”
(
drownedinsound.com)

7 agosto, 2009 Posted by | The Warlocks | 2 comentarios

   

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