Words About Music
California indie rock crew Warpaint have been bringing the slow burn to their tunes for nearly a decade now, but didn’t release any studio material till their 2008 debut EP “Exquisite Corpse.” With this EP and their 2010 debut album “The Fool,” Warpaint established themselves as a pretty compelling psychedelic rock group that relies more on atmosphere and ambience than on noise. The meditations become even more relaxed on their self-titled sophomore studio LP. The group hasn’t changed a whole lot in the past six years or so, but that’s not to say that the music they make isn’t good. Warpaint is still a good band, I’m just less hyped on this album than I was on their earlier material.
My first complaint about “Warpaint” is that it feels a lot longer than it is. I think it gets up to the 50-minute mark, which isn’t bad, it’s just there’s such little variation throughout that it feels longer and the songs that do vary from the psychedelia in favor of post-punk or even trip-hop vibes feel more exciting and more memorable. And that’s not entirely a bad thing; this album has a few really great tracks on it. The only problem is that it makes the rest of the album stand out less.
This album isn’t entirely a bust though. Like I said, even when they’re playing songs that I feel like didn’t require much effort on their part, Warpaint’s performance and use of atmosphere is undeniable. The lyrics are also pretty notable, not gonna lie. My biggest complaint is that I feel like Warpaint didn’t try too hard to make an LP as good as “The Fool.” Instead, they just tried to make one that sounded a lot like it. Sure, “Warpaint” is more accessible and that’s not always a bad thing, but it doesn’t make me feel very strongly one way or the other. It’s better than mediocre, but not by much.
There are definitely songs on this album that display some sort of hunger, some sort of fire. Warpaint could be in the middle of an awkward transitional period into music with more variation. Like I said, there are points where they seem to bring different sounds into the music, like on “Disco/Very” and “CC.” Overall, this album isn’t great and I probably won’t remember it in a month. But it is tolerable and it is listenable. It’s like if Warpaint were told they had to make an album to fulfill a contract so they just made what they’re used to making while throwing in a few creative curveballs. I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you, but it’s not the worst.
SCORE – 6.4
FAVORITE TRACKS – Keep It Healthy, Hi, Teese, Disco/Very, Go In, CC