The Warlocks | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Maybe they hope some mojo still clings to this name, which once belonged to bands that eventually became the Grateful Dead and the Velvet Underground. Maybe some does. Last year this large group led by Bobby Hecksher (a Brian Jonestown Massacre veteran who played guitar on Beck's Stereopathetic Soulmanure) released its first LP, Rise and Fall (Bomp), a mesmerizing surprise of a trance-rock record that effortlessly picked up the Spacemen 3 torch so many have strained to catch. On cuts like the aptly named 13-minute-plus "Jam of the Witches" they find a good savage expressway-to-yr-skull groove and ride it with Suicide-esque persistence; the sweet, eerie "Song for Nico" comes fairly close to doing the misunderstood lady justice. This kind of sound is easy to produce but difficult to give teeth; the Warlocks succeed because they have the ambition of early Pink Floyd and understand that the Velvets were at heart a blues band. They've recently shown their mettle on a tour with kindred spirits Black Rebel Motorcycle Club; there's an EP coming soon from LA's Birdman Records and an album in the works for fall. Friday, June 7, 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 773-525-2508.

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