Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Warlocks Get Reissued

Synonomous with massive neverending space jams, The Warlocks are proud perveyors of the very idea of psychedelic prog rock and have been making it since the 90's. Long out of print, The Warlocks first album, Rise and Fall, as well as The Warlocks EP have been difficult items to come across for ages. The sheer difficutulty of finding these records have led to both being recently re-released with an additional eight unreleased bonus tracks. This very idea is so monumentla and it's re-release is so epic in every sense of the word that it takes two complete CD's to contain all the music that this legendary band recorded over a decade ago. Emerging in Los Angeles around 1999-2000, the band signed to legendary indie label, Bomp! and spent heaps of cash recording these records with the idea of making every miniscule detail count in an effort to produce two mind blowing records. They did just that and then those records quicky disappeared never to be seen again...until now.

Taking psychedelic rock making it progressive and front loading their debut record with a thirteen minute jam that launches into space and circles the galaxy is exactly how The Warlocks like it. Their Rise and Fall album comes right out of the blocks with this endless rocker that sounds as if it was recorded in 1969 on a lot of hallucinogens and other substances. The song is so long that if you manage to survive this first test of endurance the band allows you to continue on with a reprieve of somewhat shorter but none-the-less continually tripped out tunes to get lost in. This is the sound of Hailey's Comet revolving around the sun and comes off like some sort of post comedown shoegazing record lost in a sea of Pink Floyd and Velvet Underground dirges. With a sound like that, Rise and Fall is an impressive effort that occasionally suffers from a lack of vocal prowess but more than makes up for it with absolutely solid musicianship that's almost too progressive for its own good.

The Warlocks can clearly play and Rise and Fall as well as The Warlocks EP prove this repeatedly. These guys were so good from the get go, that they could make 13 minute prog rock epics feel like 3 minute pop songs. Talent is overflowing at every post here and the members who make up The Warlocks love playing so much that they never want to stop playing. In listening to Rise and Fall you get the feeling that given half the chance this band would never have stopped playing or recording and run BOMP! In to the ground with endless amounts of studio time and epic space jams. Rise and Fall as well as its sister record The Warlocks EP are simply amazing.

Unspoiled by budgets, labels, or trends, The Warlocks have blasted their own path out of the galaxy for over a decade and the joy of this record is you get to hear where it all started. At twenty two tracks long, this re-issued set, is about as essential as air and offers up so much incredibly out there music that it's amazing that The Warlocks ever returned to Earth to follow them up. From the drugged out haze of, "House of Glass," to the bonus track, "Total Headache," this record stands as a living document and a collector’s item of just how good The Warlocks have always been.

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