Release Date: Sep 2, 2016
Record label: Cleopatra
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Neo-Psychedelia
Having emerged from the same Californian psychedelic scene as The Brian Jonestown Massacre 18 years ago, it's been a rocky road for The Warlocks and their one constant member, Bobby Hecksher. Numerous line-up changes while switching labels with almost every subsequent release has taken its toll at times, yet to Hecksher and his roving band's credit, they've managed to put out a stream of records to a constantly high standard. Nevertheless, they've been pretty quiet on the release front since last long player Skull Worship came out at the tail end of 2013.
According to the liner notes to Songs from the Pale Eclipse, the ninth album from psych-drone explorers the Warlocks, group leader Bobby Hecksher works mostly on inspiration, and once he gets an idea for a new song, he begins recording it as soon as he can. This method has left Hecksher with a big pile of odds and ends over the years, and Songs from the Pale Eclipse was assembled from his recording archives, with some of the tracks dating back ten years. If these ten songs were leftovers, it would seem they were set aside for thematic reasons and not because of questions of quality.
To date, Californian psychedelic rockers The Warlocks have released six full studio albums as well as a number of EPs, the first album proper being 2001’s Rise And Fall. As to be expected with any musical genius, founder and frontman Bobby Hecksher amassed a plethora of tracks written in bouts of prolificacy that remained on demo tapes that for whatever reason never quite took hold enough for a full release. Enter album seven, Songs From The Pale Eclipse, where Hecksher has trawled through these old tapes to resurrect some of his better ideas from the past and given them the full band treatment as a unique one-off release where, in his own words, “not everything fits like it’s one cohesive album”.
Similar to Bobby Hecksher’s former band, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Warlocks features only one surviving founding member. While BJM’s Anton Newcombe makes mostly solo records now under his group moniker, Hecksher continues, for eighteen years, leading his own neo-psychedelic, Los Angeles-based ensemble. Both groups feature a familiar blend.