Warlock Pinchers

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The Warlock Pinchers  return to Denver after 18 years

:: Warlock Pinchers ::
:: Gothic Theatre :: August 6 and 7 ::

By Brandon daviet

There are not many bands that have stones to proclaim themselves as “the official sound of Satan,” but that’s exactly what Colorado’s own Warlock Pinchers did when they busted out of Boulder’s CU campus at the tail end of the ’80s.

For five years, between 1987 and 1992, the Warlock Pinchers dominated the Colorado music scene and during that time they released a pair of classic albums on San Francisco’s Boner Records that still enjoy good sales today, Deadly Kung Fu Action and Circusized Peanuts. In that same time frame they also became infamous for their incendiary live shows and created a small merchandising empire, something that few other, if any, Colorado bred bands (especially from that era) can lay claim to.

From a musical perspective, the Warlock Pinchers created a potent rock/rap hybrid that was original enough not to be disrespectful to African American rap artists and had a rock edge that even the Beastie Boys couldn’t touch on their best days. The group also wielded a sharp sense of humor that occasionally bordered on cheesy but for the most part remained in the realm of awe-inspiring.

When the band played their last show on Feb. 22, 1992 there was a mutual feeling among fans that things had ended too soon. Now, as the summer of 2010 rolls ahead, easily one of the hottest topics in the Denver music scene is the return of the Warlock Pinchers for two shows at the Gothic Theatre this month. (Their first show on August 6, is already sold out.)

The keen observer will also note the re-emergence of the group’s unmistakable logo around Denver and Boulder. It’s a slight variation on the logo of the Oakland/L.A. Raiders football team.

“Well, the last few years people have been getting very retrospective about Denver things surrounding the Denver scene and while a reunion has always been talked about among fans, I think it hasbeen getting talked about a lot more lately so the timing just seems right,” said Pincher Andrew Novick (who is known onstage as K.C. K-Sum) during a recent interview with The Marquee.

That settled, the larger question loomed about whether or not this was an actual rebirth for the band or just a one-time thing. “This is really designed to be a last hurrah,” Novick said. “When I was asking everybody if we should play again they all seemed pretty amenable to playing, but not to touring or becoming a band again,” said Novick. “Although now that we have re-learned all the songs and everything, if we had the opportunity to play some shows out of state and the timing and money were right, we’d probably do it.”

Most fans know that one of the not-so-secret secrets to the Pincher’s sound was that the band employed a drum machine and has never used a live drummer. What’s not so well known is that when the band broke up they erased all their beats. This time around the band has recruited The Melvin’s drummer Dale Crover to bash skins, but the drum machine will always be an important part of the band. “When the band first started it was literally just a bunch of people standing around in a room and it was very vocally oriented and the drums just weren’t that important, but as it went on we realized we could do some real complex patterns and things,” said Novick. “We started to have a lot of fun with it and it made us much much different from the bands we were playing with, and it kind of began to be where we were combating people’s original conceptions about the drum machine.”

Music aside, the Warlock Pinchers will always be remembered for their merchandising; from yo-yos to golf tees to baby clothes, if their name will fit on it, it probably exists. Part of the excitement of the upcoming shows will be seeing what kind of swag is going to be sold to mark the occasion. But for now, the only new Pincher’s item to speak of is a new album of unreleased songs and demos called Bomb the Franklin Mint that really sheds some light on just how much the Pinchers accomplished in their original five years together.

“I’m kind of a perpetual archivist. I save everything, and part of my thing with doing this show was getting out all the old flyers and articles and everything and I came across like about 27 cassette tapes of a bunch of live shows, studio demos and just weird stuff and I just really thought that, ‘Man, people need to hear some of this stuff,’” said Novick. “It’s for people that have been listening to our same albums for 20 years. I mean, a fan is going to be like, ‘Wow there’s a whole different version of this song!’ because I know that’s what I’m like with bands I like. So it’s definitely a fan-only kind of thing for people that want to hear something new that they’ve never heard.”

:: Warlock Pinchers ::

:: Gothic Theatre :: August 6 and 7 ::

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