Album Review: Warpaint – Warpaint

By on Monday, 20th January 2014 at 12:00 pm

Warpaint Warpaint coverSeveral months ago, I reviewed the teaser single from the eponymous sophomore effort from Los Angeles’s four ladies of Warpaint. ‘Love Is To Die’ is still a standout track on the album but the band has taken a self-proclaimed different direction, making the sound less full and more understated than what was found on 2011’s ‘The Fool’. The modification is subtle, and the casual listener may not detect a massive change. They have lost none of their subdued, throbbing melancholy and continue to weave interesting beats in with ethereal vocals. The whole thing has an eerie sexiness about it: Twin Peaks eerie sexiness.

The first track, the simply named instrumental ‘Intro’, does a great job of letting you into their world since it starts out fuzzy and friendly with a laughed “oh, sorry” before counting out the beat again. Right from the beginning you feel like these woman are singing with you in your living room. I don’t know where they recorded, but the room seemed a little dry (like my living room would be!) and I marveled that this trippy, psychedelic sound is probably not over produced and quite genuine and organic. And any band who claims Talking Heads as a major influence, ‘This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)’ identified as ‘the perfect song’, is all right with me.

In general, eschewing the traditional verse chorus verse structure, the individual tracks wander and drift. The album is lightly painted in distortion throughout, sometimes to better effect than others. There is much to enjoy, but little to dig your claws into. I think it is an interesting listen and I am happy to have it on in the background, but there really isn’t anything that could be considered a hit. ‘Hi’ gives us a high, floaty, wavering wail over an electronic beat providing a compelling juxtaposition and again highlights my pleasure with the percussion choices throughout the album. This song deepens and travels to a comfortable place. ‘Teese’ starts simpler, opening with an unassuming guitar line and a vocal that’s a bit wider to compensate. The one song I have a hard time accepting is ‘Disco//Very’. A little chant-like, a touch atonal and rounded out with squeaks and squeals, it’s just a little too cheerleader-like for my taste. It’s different and quite a chance for them, breaking up the flow of the album but perhaps that was their aim.

No wimpy eight-song, second effort from these ladies here. This is a juicy, hour-long trek through the glorious wanderings of Theresa Wayman and Emily Kokal’s imaginations. Sharing both lead vocal and guitar duties, they are the origins of the band. Jenny Lee Lindberg fills in the sound on bass and I have to admit to a tiny girl crush on Stella Mozgawa since her drumming had me mesmerized throughout the album. ‘Warpaint’ will be available 21 January on Rough Trade.


Warpaint’s second and self-titled album is out today (the 20th of January) on Rough Trade.

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2 Responses

12:01 pm
20th January 2014

New post: Album Review: Warpaint @_warpaint’s self-titled second album is out today on Rough Trade @RoughTradeRecs:

11:44 pm
20th January 2014

RT @tgtf: New post: Album Review: Warpaint @_warpaint’s self-titled second album is out today on Rough Trade @RoughTradeRecs:…

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