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Warlock - Warlock (LP)
 

Warlock - Warlock (LP)

Price: $50.00 currently not available     
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Condition: Used
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Genre: rock
Rating: 2 stars **
Title:  Warlock
Company: Music Merchant
Catalog: MM 102
Year: 1972
Country/State: Detroit, Michigan
Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+
Comments: minor seam split bottom; cut out hole top right corner
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 6103
Price: $50.00

Popular name for bands so there's a lot of confusion and misinformation on this particular outfit. So I've looked and look for information on this obscure album, let alone some sort of review ... absolutely no luck. What I can tell you is that this Warlock was masterminded by Detroit studio musician Jack Burningtree.

Apparently released by the Buddah associated Music Merchant label without the band members knowledge or cooperation, 1972's self-produced "Warlock" showcased a largely original set of music that tried to blur the line between conventional soul, hard rock, and psych influences. The liner notes didn't provide much in the way of credits or performance information, but nine of the ten tracks were penned by Burningtree, former Seminoles lead singer Joey Finazzo, and Mike Mujadin. If you liked hard-edged soul-rock outfits like Maximillian, The Next Morning, and Purple Image this was probably going to hold some interest for you. That said, there were some real issues with this set. Burningtree and Finazzo split vocal duties. Finazzo had a commercial, if somewhat anonymous voice that was well suited to the album's slower numbers ('Love Girl'). In contrast Burningtree's voice was an acquired taste - particularly when he tried to stretch out on the rock numbers. To my ears he sounded a but like a drowning David Clayton-Thomas. Which serves as a nice lead-in to another issue; the horns. Virtually all of these songs featured busy horn arrangements. A real negative to my ears, though perhaps some folks won't hear it that way.

- Opening up with the gentle sounds of a music box, 'Music Box: Struggling Man' abruptly shifted into a strange soul-meets-hard-rock hybrid. Imagine early David Clayton Thomas having totally blown his limited voice (Burningtree literally sounded like he'd been gargling with steel wool). Just when you were starting to get acclimate to his voice the track shifted into a female sung cocktail jazz section (no idea who the lady was), before heading out the door with a nice fuzz guitar solo section and a return to the initial hard rock orientation. Certainly one weird way to start an album. rating: ** stars
- The jazzy-tinged ballad 'So Can Woman' featured a pair of lead singers. One of them sounded like Burningtree, but I'm guessing the other was Joey Finazzo (formally lead singer for The Seminoles) and one of the song co-writers. Not sure why, but this one's always reminded me of early BS&T. rating: ** stars
- While it was a pretty ballad, 'Putting Life Together' sounded strained and uncomfortable with the arrangement and accompanying sax solo giving the track a distinctive jazz-flavor. rating: ** stars
- Just when you thought you'd figured this outfit out, along comes 'You've Been My Rock'. It fact this one was so different, you were left to wonder if this was even the same group ... The lone non-original (credited to Holland - Dozier), the result was easily the album's standout performance. Complete with uncredited backing vocals from the group Honey Comb, this one sounded like a long lost Chairman of the Board release. rating: **** stars
- 'Thrills of Love' of ended side one with a return to a hard rock edge. The song was kicked along by a nice fuzz guitar figure and a cool melody, but like most of side one the busy horn arrangements detracted from the overall effect. rating: ** stars
- Opening up with martial drumming and some Spanish-flavored sax moves, 'Love Girl' suddenly decided to pursue a flute-propelled jazz vibe and a bland, Finazzo lead MOR ballad. rating: ** stars
- Clocking in at over 14 minutes, 'As You Die: Music Box' opened up with some keyboard and sax jazz riffing. About a minute in the track morphed into a mid-tempo ballad saw Finazzo turning in one of his better vocals as well as a tasty fuzz lead guitar solo, and Burningtree showcased some impressive bass moves. Unfortunately from that point on the rest of the song descended into and extended jazz vamp. The end of song 'nobody gets out alive' shout was kind of funny. And then back to the music box ... rating: ** stars

Music Merchant tapped the album for an instantly obscure single:


- 1972's 'You've Been My Rock' b/w 'The Judgment Day' (Music merchant catalog number MS 1005)

Strange, strange, strange, but you can still find cheap copies ...

"Warlock" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Music Box: Struggling Man (Jack Burningtree - Mike Mujadin - Joey Finazzo) - 4:23
2.) So Can Woman (Jack Burningtree - Mike Mujadin - Joey Finazzo) - 3:30
3.) Putting Life Together (Jack Burningtree - Mike Mujadin - Joey Finazzo) - 5:16
4.) You've Been My Rock (Brian Holland - Lamont Dozier) - 2:54
5.) Thrills of Love (Jack Burningtree - Mike Mujadin - Joey Finazzo) - 3:16

(side 2)
1.) Love Girl (Jack Burningtree - Mike Mujadin - Joey Finazzo) - 4:52
2.) As You Die: Music Box (Jack Burningtree - Mike Mujadin - Joey Finazzo) - 14:32
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