Artist /// Warpaint
Album /// Warpaint
Label /// Rough Trade
Release Date /// 21 January 2014
8.1 | 10
Warpaint, whose members include Jenny Lee Lindberg, Emily Kokal, Theresa Wayman and, since 2009, drummer Stella Mozgawa, have been receiving ringing endorsements from the get-go, whether it be from Ex-Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusciante or Radiohead’s unofficial sixth member Nigel Godrich, who mixed Warpaint alongside the always in-demand producer Mark “Flood” Ellis. Thus far, however, the support from fellow musicians hasn’t translated to the success those endorsers have grown accustomed to achieving. That looks to change with their sensational self-titled LP, with its expansive sonic soundscapes resulting in an album that turns out to be much bigger than the sum of its parts.
When listening to the new record, it could be easy to overlook the various intricacies within each track. Mozgawa’s drumming in particular is a vital component to the album’s sound, while never once being showy or forced. She shows incredible timing as well as an ability to be the skeleton to Lindberg, Kokal and Wayman’s muscle.
The album’s flaw does not lie in any inadequacies from the band members, or an inability to craft beautiful, striking musical structures; they prove time-and-time again on Warpaint that they are certainly more than capable of both. Rather, the album’s only inherent flaw is it’s slightly muddled second-half. After the rather remarkable run from tracks 2-7, the rest of the album doesn’t compete in terms of musical brilliance. While tracks such as “Hi” and “Disco/Very” gleam due to their uncharacteristic influences (trip-hop, italo disco), the album’s latter section doesn’t do much to move out of adequate range.
Warpaint is largely a well-deserving listen, accented by some towering highlights (“Keep It Healthy,” “Love Is to Die,” “Biggy”) and some more understated, but no less thrilling, moments during the first half (“Hi,” “Teese”). There is a youthfulness to the band’s sound that is eloquently masked by their bleak, heavy sonics. That energy manifests itself in thrilling and unique ways on Warpaint, no matter the various means Warpaint goes to deliver their message.