Very little changes in the world of the Warlocks...four years have passed since The Mirror Explodes, three musicians have left the group, three have joined in their place, and despite it all this band is still drifting down an endless twilight road of beautiful but troubling sounds. Key Warlock Bobby Hecksher continues to fashion an aural netherworld where clouds of fuzz and distortion float overhead as the slow but relentless pulse of bass and drums echoes in the distance. Ultimately, the Warlocks only do one thing, but they've learned to do it quite well (or rather Hecksher does it quite well and knows where to get the assistance he needs), and 2013's Skull Worship confirms his obsessions have not changed one bit with time. On Skull Worship, Hecksher (who handles guitar, keys, bass, and lead vocals) is joined by guitarist J.C. Rees (the only other holdover from The Mirror Explodes), guitarist Earl V. Miller, bassist Chris Di Pino, and drummer George Serrano, and the album is a well-crafted exercise in dark psychedelia, recalling the effectively minimal melodies and percussion of the Velvet Underground, the buzzy doomstruck tone of the Jesus and Mary Chain, and the layered guitar tones of My Bloody Valentine, while adding a sinister beauty that's unique to this band. (And the atmospheric production and engineering by Rod Cervera certainly deserve a shout-out.) If Hecksher's lyrics almost seem beside the point (and don't get much prominence in the mix), the sound is inarguably impressive if this is in your wheelhouse at all, especially the march into feedback of "Dead Generation," the narcotic drift of "He Looks Good in Space," and the reverse-gear loops that punctuate the concluding descent into the maelstrom, "Eyes Jam." Skull Worship is fine, satisfying stuff, though it may not suit those who prefer to listen to their music during daylight hours. Judging from this, one might guess it's been ages since Hecksher saw the morning sun of his own volition.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming