BY MICHAEL TOLAND
It’s been five long years since the last spell cast by the Warlocks. But bandleader Bobby Hecksher and his latest set of cohorts break the silence with Skull Worship, allegedly the final part of a trilogy started with Heavy Deavy Skull Lover and peaked with The Mirror Explodes.
Though Hecksher’s melodic sense – a combination of floating melody and acid-drenched drone – remains intact, he’s tempered the band’s usual aggression with a more measured pace. “Dead Generation” and “Endless Drops” follow a familiar repetition, but keep the intensity set at smolder rather than burn. The band also heads in some new directions – “He Looks Good in Space” adds appropriately cosmic synthesizer flourishes to a wispy tune that floats in zero gravity, while “Silver & Plastic” follows a lush, semi-acoustic path that hints at a Midlake LP or two spinning on Hecksher’s turntable.
Some of the half-crazed momentum is missed, particularly during the meandering tracks that end the LP. But mostly the Warlocks thrive in this environment of release-free tension, letting Skull Worship seethe rather than rage, and it’s no less effective for the restraint.
DOWNLOAD: “Endless Drops,” “Silver & Plastic,” “Dead Generation”