The Warlocks – The Mirror Explodes (Tee Pee Records)

The Warlocks should be better than they are. They’ve got the right pedigree (leader/singer Bobby Hecksher has played with The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Beck), good influences (The Velvet Underground, Jesus and Mary Chain, Spacemen 3…etc.) and an interesting set-up (as many as nine members, usually including multiple drummers) – yet outside of a few songs their albums have never lived up to their potential, and their concerts have been exercises in boredom. The exception was 2007’s Heavy Deavy Skull Lover, which featured a scaled-back line-up and songs that had an interesting, almost post-rock, level of composition and sonic brain-scrambling. I hoped The Mirror Explodes would build on what the foundation this leaner and meaner line-up built, but it’s actually their least interesting album to date. The problem is pacing. Too many songs operate within the same droney mid-tempo, without any groove or forward movement. This is OK for a track or two, but gets tired after a while. I like “Kid’s Garden” by The Brian Jonestown Massacre as much as anyone, but I don’t necessarily need and album of eight variations on it (and with less interesting vocals). Also, whereas other Warlocks albums had elements of light and melody (even a distant sense of humor), The Mirror Explodes plods aimlessly without anything to latch on to.


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