Album review: Warpaint – ‘Warpaint’

Warpaint – Warpaint


What’s in an album title? Most of the time not a great deal can be read into what a band choose to call their latest set of songs. In the case of LA-foursome Warpaint, though, the decision to make their second album self-titled seems significant.

In recent press interviews Warpaint’s Theresa Wyman has been mildly critical of her bands 2010 debut The Fool. Despite the fact it was received with good reviews, sold a lot and launched their careers, Wyman thinks it suffered from ‘too much instrumentation’ and was ‘too unpredictable’.

This second album then feels like it comes with a great big ‘This Is The Real Us’ sentiment attached to it. Oddly enough though, Warpaint is even more elusive that its predecessor.

The only track that stands out as immediately accessible is ‘Love Is To Die’ – but as the lead single it feels more like a concession to the paymasters than anything else. Good song though.

The rest of Warpaint slides by in an ethereal fog of murky synths, delicate melodies and vocals that barely register. It demands, rather than encourages, complete concentration and, save for the occasional highlight, it doesn’t reward the effort required to get through it.

Those highlights include the beguiling Portishead-esque ‘Hi’, which features a brooding bassline and trip-hop drum patterns. The previously-released ‘Biggy’ is a slow-burner which sheds its weight after multiple listens to reveal a rewarding hypnotic groove at its heart.

‘Teese’ is the stand-out track on the album, benefiting from a clear focus and discernable hook to be the only song that really pulls you in to the deep, dark and sexy world that is Warpaint.

Overall the album is too subtle for its own good and, critically, it lacks the emotional punch needed to carry off the ‘sexy’, groovy, off-kilter vibe it tries to convey.

Post Author: Luke Glassford

All-Noise was founded in 2010 with just one simple aim – to highlight and celebrate ‘proper music’, made by real people with real musical inspirations.