About The Warlocks

The Warlocks are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1998 by guitarist/singer Bobby Hecksher. The band's music has ranged from psychedelic rock to drone music. There have been many changes in personnel since their formation, with Hecksher the only constant member.


The band was founded in 1998 in Los Angeles by Bobby Hecksher, adopting a name used by both the Velvet Underground and the Grateful Dead in their early days. At the age of fifteen, Hecksher moved to Los Angeles from Florida with his family. Hecksher's first instrument was cello, eventually moving on to bass guitar. Hecksher's grandfather owned a radio station.


In the years preceding the formation of the band Hecksher was busy with a number of other projects in Los Angeles, including Charles Brown Superstar, Don Knotts Overdrive , and Magic Pacer, played bass with Beck on the Stereopathic Soulmanure album and also with the Brian Jonestown Massacre for a brief period.


The Warlocks played their first gig on July 4, 1998. Receiving comparisons with White Light/White Heat-era Velvet Underground and Spacemen 3, the band signed a two-album deal with renowned indie label Bomp! in October 2000. Supposedly signed in Hecksher's blood, the contract with Bomp! yielded the band's debut release in 2000, the mini-album The Warlocks. This was followed by the release of their first full-length record, Rise and Fall, in 2001. Rise and Fall received a four-and-a-half-star review from AllMusic, with Bryan Thomas describing it as a "solid effort". Hecksher worked as a games tester for DreamWorks until at least 2001.


After the release of Rise and Fall the band split with Bomp! and signed with Birdman. The EP Phoenix was released by Birdman in 2002 and was followed by a full-length album of the same name, which was also released in 2002, to positive acclaim.Phoenix included a collaboration with Peter Kember , of Spacemen 3 and Spectrum, on the song "Hurricane Heart Attack". "Shake the Dope Out" and "Baby Blue" were also released as singles. The group toured the US and overseas with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Raveonettes and Interpol.


Following Phoenix, the Warlocks signed to Mute and released Surgery in 2005, produced by Tom Rothrock. The record represents a departure from their earlier psychedelic sound into dreamier pop territory, while retaining the band's hard-edged brand of rock. The songs on this record are shorter and more structured than some of their previous work. "Come Save Us" was released as a single. Surgery received a mixed reception from critics; A PopMatters review by Stephen Haag rated it at 6 out of 10, while a Pitchfork review gave the album only a 1.7 out of 10 rating, with Nick Sylvester describing the album as "A mopey bunch of trite sap O.D.-type tales almost as unstomachable as the band's former crapothecary hymns." Prefix gave the album 8.0 out of 10, describing it as "far more approachable" than their earlier releases. The album's lack of commercial success led to the end of their deal with Mute.


In the years after Surgery, the band toured internationally and sustained changes to the lineup, leading up to the 2007 release of Heavy Deavy Skull Lover on Tee Pee. The album was, according to Hecksher, recorded over a single weekend, with the band members quitting afterwards. The album is considered darker than their previous work, with the band exploring a more experimental direction. A review in Spin described the album as "funereal" and "sluggishly unrealised", while AllMusic called it "uneven".Heavy Deavy Skull Lover was recorded as a four-piece and marks a brief hiatus from the band for founding member John Christian Rees, who later returned before work began on their 2009 album, The Mirror Explodes. The Mirror Explodes was released in 2009 via Tee Pee. Production of the record was assisted by Joey Santiago of the Pixies.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "The Warlocks", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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