After it’s release last week, Joel Huckfield reviews Warpaint’s latest effort, four years after their debut in 2010.
The talented LA four-piece band Warpaint have once again arrived on the scene four years after their highly acclaimed debut ‘The Fool’.
Since early 2011, Warpaint have never been afraid of experimenting with their sound, which has been described by the likes of NME as fitting somewhere between Joni Mitchell and Cocteau Twins. The foursome decided to use inspiration from rap and R&B for their new record, with Radiohead’s long-serving producer Nigel Godrich adding to the experimental sound on a couple of the tracks.
The album opens up with ‘Intro’ easing you into a band jamming session, rolling you straight into ‘Keep It Healthy’, which wouldn’t sound too out of place on a Radiohead album; the most notable sounds on each of the tracks are the smooth baselines and the steady drumming that is continuous throughout the album. The proceeding single to wet the appetite of fans ‘Love Is To Die’, definitely stands out as the key track of the album and showcases the overall different resonance from their debut. A distinct sound to pick up on from the track is the presence of the ambience that continually builds itself up before lead vocalist Emily Kokal unleashes chorus ‘Love is to die, love is not die, love is to dance’. On the track ‘Hi’, the inspiration of R&B is present when the electronic drums kick in to provide a rhythmic beat whilst Kokal echo’s over the wooziness of the track’s bass. From this point onwards, the remaining tracks follow the same formulaic procedure, slowly and patiently building itself up to showcase the experimental sound that producer Flood (Foals, U2 and The Killers) has been able to unearth over the 55 minutes of the record.
‘Biggy’ changes the direction of the album slightly, in which opens up with heavy synthesizers and then track ‘Teese’, which delicately removes all synthesizers to replace with acoustic guitars and a steady drum beat; on more listens the album has prominent comparisons to Radiohead’s groundbreaking album ‘Kid A’.
Another notable track off the album is ‘Disco//Very’ that is as disco as you could possibly imagine, the sleek sounding bass and electronic drum beats shows off Warpaint’s most daring track to date.
Whilst it’s clear this record is a somewhat personal account of their experiences from the years in-between rehearsing this and the finished tour of their first record, the band are quoted saying that there is always tension between members but it allows them to create the best possible music. The themes throughout the album lyrically show themselves up more so than on their previous record.
In a world where Miley Cyrus grabs all the headlines for her ‘off stage’ frolics and pop music dominates the charts, it’s refreshing to see a band that has slowly taken their time to create a fulfilling diverse record and not rush release within the norm of one to two years. It’s been four years in the making for Warpaint but it can be agreed upon that it has been well worth it.
Top tracks: ‘Love Is To Die’ ‘Disco//Very’ ‘Hi’.
Album available from iTunes, Amazon and independent music stores from £7.49.
Warpaint will be in Bristol at the 02 Academy on Friday 21st February.