The Warlocks have been plying their overcast psych-rock for nearly twenty years, and the trip still doesn’t seem all that bright. While a kind of sunny-day psychedelia influenced by the optimism of both the original mid-sixties head scene and the rave culture that would follow later is experiencing a renaissance, Bobby Hecksher’s group—like The Velvet Underground and the Brian Jonestown Massacre before them—have always been more interested in the dark and burnt-out edges of that sound; not for nothing was Hecksher gigging with the BJM and hanging around with Timothy Leary in the ’90s.
The Warlocks will release Songs From the Pale Eclipse, their seventh album, on September 2, and today we’re premiering the video for the record’s lead single, “Lonesome Bulldog.” The lo-fi camera work and murky lighting are a perfect match for the track, whose jangling rhythm guitars are overpowered by ugly overdriven leads, suggesting Neil Young migrating into and steadily taking over The Byrds. Hecksher delivers the song through a soft mumble pitched somewhere between a stage whisper and pillow talk, though both of those descriptors suggest the presence of another party, and Hecksher sure doesn’t sound like he’s in a dialogue or wiling to put himself on stage: “Just another day as a lonesome bulldog,” he sings. “Nothing to eat, nothing to drink, no one to talk to.” It’s a compelling piece of worn-out rock; call it confessional psych.
Songs From the Pale Eclipse is out September 2 via Cleopatra Records. You can preorder it here.