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Review: Warpaint – Warpaint (Album)

HTF’s review of Warpaint’s new album!

Band: Warpaint
Release: Warpaint (Album)
Release Date: 20/01/2014

In our modern world anyone can create music. Some have an aptitude and many not so much but, if inclined, one can piece together a ‘song’ on Garage Band and post it on Soundcloud for hundreds/thousands/millions of people (or perhaps just 3 or 4 buddies from down the pub) to listen to, share on Twitter and critique. Therefore, musicians wishing for their songs to be heard above the musical melee have a battle on their bloodied hands. Record producers and label boss men are aware that an immensely important element in the success of a song or an album is it’s ‘immediacy’; infiltrate the listeners’ ear ‘oles as speedily and effectively as possible in order to engage their brain. And so we come to Warpaint’s second, self-titled album; it is brazen in it’s disregard for immediacy.

‘Love Is To Die’, the leading single from the record, epitomises this distinct lack of immediacy; It is a shadow of a pop song. The spectre of Wayman’s voice meanders in and out of the midnight atmosphere of the piece which is laced together by the tightly-woven rhythmic tapestry of Mozgawa’s drum patterns and Lindberg’s hypnotic dub bass line. The chorus is darkly discordant from the verse and intones the ominous lyric, “love is to die”.

‘Love Is To Die’ has a menacing charm that grows with repeated listening but one word you would never associate with it is ‘immediate’. It requires the listener to indulge; to lay on the floor in a darkened room while cigarette and incense smoke billows around you, the bottle of red wine down to it’s last dregs… to immerse yourself you must surrender to the atmosphere of Warpaint’s music. Once you have had this epiphany the album may begin to delight you.

Exploring the shadowlands leads to subtle pleasures. ‘Teese’ has a sparse, waif-like, lyric-less chorus vocal; it’s melody blending beguilingly with a bouncing bass refrain. ‘Keep It Healthy’ is a widescreen, spacious jam and ‘Son’ is a haunting, melancholy piano-led ballad. So, there is much to admire on ‘Warpaint’ however it requires you to invest time and faith. If you like your music to instantaneously engulf your mind then you may find this album a real challenge. Which side will you fight for in this war?


Reviewer: Joel Alexander

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