The Warlocks

The Phoenix Album

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The psychedelic-drenched Los Angeles group's underlying modus operandi is to "conjure up music as an experience." Both live and recorded, lead vocalist/guitarist Bobby Hecksher -- along with a six- to eight-member entourage -- transform jams into something tangible, much like avant-garde Suicide and space rockers Spiritualized have been known to do. The five-song mini-album almost merits full-length status, as it clocks over an hour in length. The seven-minute "Stone Hearts" is the most memorable, with its fuzzed-out drones and tranquil, Jason Pierce-esque vocals. The other tracks offer up more long, instrumental neo-psychedelia bliss that start on one plane and end up on a different euphonious level, thus obliging their MO. The Warlocks' un-gimcrack multi-instrumentation, featuring two drummers and a former Brian Jonestown Massacre member, may help explain the jam band and drug-induced connotations. Exploring these influences is the Syd Barrett tone on the final track, "Minneapolis Mad Man." The end result is a blurring of lines between reality and fiction, making Phoenix EP ethereal both in spirit and effect.

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