The Warlocks formed in 1999 in Los Angeles, California. The band originally had nineteen members before it was narrowed down to the seven members of the band we know today. Spanning multiple genres, their music can best be described as Neo-psychedelia, with a Hard Rock influence. The Warlock’s frontman, Bobby Hecksher was raised in Tampa Bay, Florida; where his Grandfather owned a radio station. As a result, his exposure to music began at a very young age.
At the age of sixteen, Hecksher and his family moved to Los Angeles where he played with Beck on his album "Stereopathetic Soul Manure", played with the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and attended parties with legendary drug “spokesman” Timothy Leary. All of this and more collided into what would become The Warlocks; one of the most interesting underground Psychedelic groups in recent history.
Among the seven members of the band are three guitarists, and two drummers. With these resources, they are able to create a wall of sound that not many bands since The Who have ever been able to create. The sound is hypnotic, psychedelic, light, and heavy. They are a band not quite like anyone else, with extended jams, and catchy songs.
The album starts with “Jam of the Witches” which is a fourteen minute long well, jam. The band is incredibly tight, and it is easy to tell that they are experienced with each other’s playing styles. Epic and unpredictable is the way I would describe the sound of most of their songs. The majority of the album is filled with instrumentals, much like the first track, but also included are some very catchy songs, which are more up beat with vocals. The vocals are just as you would expect them to be, to go along with this music. Mellow, and relaxed.
On tracks like “House of Glass”, the band showcases many of their talents, including beautiful finger picked acoustic guitars, and intricate slide guitar sections. Others like “Skull Death Drum Jam” obviously let the drummers get to showcase themselves, but this one is in a very mellow matter. From the beginning anyways. A bit later into the song, overdriven, fuzzed out guitars are brought into the mix, accompanied by thundering bass lines.
When listening to the album, you will hear a lot of strange noises. Usually being produced by the guitars. It isn’t out of place however, and fits in very nicely. The thing about The Warlocks, is they have some songs that sound like they could be major pop music singles, and others which are all out, straight forward Psych. As I said before, this is a fairly mellow album, and really puts you into a relaxed state. You feel at ease while listening to them.
All of the elements are blended together very well, and everything sounds very natural. The reason I like them so much, may be because their “Jam” songs sound a lot like my band, playing out in my friend’s garage, just playing whatever we feel like, usually with me adding a Psychedelic feel to things.
Overall, the musicians are extremely talented, and have no problem showcasing that they are. They sound like a mix between 1960’s underground Psych Garage rock, with modern elements added in. Thoughtfully placed guitar parts, strong bass playing, and thundering drums all combine to create a hypnotic wall of sound that really allows you to think about the music.