Release Date: May 19, 2009
Record label: Tee Pee
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
With an ever-changing line-up and a history of chemical indulgence many would balk at, it's something of an achievement that The Mirror Explodes, The Warlocks fifth album, also marks a decade of existence for the band. Having cut his teeth as a member of Anton Newcombe's travelling circus The Brian Jonestown Massacre, main Warlock Bobby Hecksher is no stranger to upheaval; the fact at least one band member has constantly changed on every successive record is perhaps to be expected. Indeed, there is no such thing as a "classic" Warlocks line-up, a factor made more apparent by the consistently high standards set by each of their releases.
As old members drop out and new members fill the vacant spots by Bobby Hecksher's side, the Warlocks' family tree grows larger with every album. Even after the departure of drummer Jason Anchondo -- the longest running member behind Hecksher and the only other musician credited on the last album, Heavy Deavy Skull Lover -- The Mirror Explodes sounds quite similar to its successor. You could even think of this album as a "Heavy Deavy, Pt.
It’s hard to remember when the Warlocks were a big deal. Too many bands have been overhyped since 2002’s Phoenix Album that even the Warlocks’ target audience probably hasn’t heard of the band. Yet, it wasn’t all that long ago that critics were putting the band in the league of Spaceman 3, the Hives, and Nico. Whatever the Warlocks remind you of, they practice the dark arts of rock ‘n’ roll in a way that will win over more fans than they will alienate.In the case of The Mirror Explodes, it helps that the Warlocks have survived to put out five albums in a decade, still have their supporters, and that they happen to be among the best of their Los Angeles peers.
Yes, the band shares a name with early incarnations of the Grateful Dead, Velvet Underground and – let us not forget—ZZ Top. And its sound does aggressively recall critical darlings My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Plus, would-be mastermind Bobby Hecksher has played with both the Brian Jonestown Massacre and Beck. But the Warlocks fail to live up to its impressive pedigree on its fifth proper album, The Mirror Explodes, a dim facsimile of its heroes’ brilliance.
Legalize it and so forth, but drug-takers gotta realize something: it is a supremely selfish act, taking drugs. Navel-gazing is one thing; taking a picture of said navel and posting it to your Tumblr with Blingees 'cuz it gave you a giggle, far different. Who knows what Los Angeles' Warlocks do with the black light on; all we have are their records, and The Mirror Explodes is the fifth proper.