Review of Mirror Explodes Album by The Warlocks

Review of The Warlocks album Mirror Explodes

The Warlocks Mirror Explodes Album

Behind all the press hype and stories of massive quantities of drug intake The Warlocks have always been one of the strongest bands under the space-rock/psychadelica umbrella. In their ten year lifespan the ever-changing collective, headed by lead vocalist Bobby Hecksher, have amassed an impressive back-catalogue of driving acid-soaked jams that have seen them retain a dedicated following past the media spotlight shunning that occurred not far after the release of their breakthrough album, 2003's 'Phoenix'. However for the first time it feels like the septet are beginning to run out of fuel, and after the career highpoint of 2007's 'Heavy Deavy Skull Lover' 'Mirror Explodes', their second release on Tee Pee Records, finds the band losing velocity and losing ground.

More than anything 'Mirror Explodes' lacks the fire of its predeccesor. The band sound restrained when in the past they have sounded wild and unrelenting. 'Red Cinema', the album's opener, strolls along on a tired riff and typical moaned vocals, going nowhere over the space of five and a half minutes. Theres a huge debt, more obvious than ever, to the late eighties droning of Spaceman3, but there is none of the anger, none of the emotion bar a few nervous/paranoid shrieks. In comparison to The Black Angels, who traced the formula but scribbled over with enough black ink to offer something fresh and vital, The Warlocks offerings sound resolutely impotent.

The late eighties referencing carries on into the albums midpoint, 'There Is A Formula For Your Despair', which is little more than a tribute-band ode to Galaxie 500. But here again the end result never comes close to matching up, due to a lack of emotion and even presence. G500 made two chords ringing out slowly from a single clean (bar an overdose of reverb) guitar sound bleak, beautiful and haunting. The Warlocks merely make it sound tedious.

For all their members and racks of effects The Warlocks have made an album that is extremely shallow and substanceless, and much inferior to the majority of their back-catalogue. Even the most dedicated follower will find little within 'Mirror Explodes' that hasn't been done better countless times, either by the band or by their predecessors.


Jordan Dowling

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