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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 11 January 2016
Unlike their previous album "The Fool", “Warpaint” is not as easy a listen, but as I gave it a few plays the reason I have liked this group, ever since I saw them live on tonight with Jools Holland, came back to me. They are vibrant and different. And whilst they are perhaps a bit more image conscious and better produced now, they still seem to retain a certain don't care, just do it attitude. This attitude is on show in the new album. Although there are some foot tapping, sing along gems like "keep it healthy" and the dance inducing "Disco/very", some of the tracks are defiantly an acquired taste (at least for me). I personally thought this was pretty brave for a second album. Still once I got listening I got to appreciate the different layers each track renders and a real feeling of satisfaction once I was able to identify and follow the various hooks of each song. So many bands descend into self-indulgence with their second or third offerings, but with a little controlled departure to keep things fresh I think Warpaint have got this one spot on. If fans of “The fool” have already given this a listen and haven’t been impressed, all the elements you love are here, you just have to listen a bit harder and perhaps a little less critically. We are fans after all, we know why we like this group. Most importantly do not expect “The Fool no.2”. It will grow on you I promise.
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on 25 January 2014
Warpaint's debut LP "The Fool" was one of 2010's hidden gems, it deserved so much more praise that I felt it had at the time.

Or maybe it DID get noticed? The past few months have seen a build up to what is arguably the biggest LP release of 2014 so far, as radio play has stepped up a bit, advertising for it is all over the internet, so its been impossible to miss that "its coming"!

Along with a checklist of cool, Flood producing, Radiohead's producer mixing a couple of tracks, and the mighty Chris Cunnigham (doing not only the photos and artwork, but also their videos and filming them docu-style in the making of the album), all the pieces are there, so now its just down to the power of the music.

And this is where Warpaint will catch you out, they are not the band you want them to be, or think they will be. I call them a very "stick-to-their-guns" girl group who don't much care for the now, or be bended by conventions you might hold on progressing from their debut album.

From the opening minute of their debut album, Warpaint where sticks in the mud. As an opening song "Set your arms down" on "The Fool" came across the speakers, it spoke volumes as a "here we are, we don't care, we are doing things our way" kind-of attitude to it. It was a slow, deliberate, atmospheric opening gambit that still rings true on this sequel.

Hence then the review scores around maybe don't really reflect what is going on here. Personal prefferences aside (I prefer the other album as it had better songs) it is very much a screw-you part 2 of slow, atmospheric songs, with no sign of a number 1 sell-out single on it (although "Love is to die" has done well on alternative radio)

So then, no sell-out for Warpaint this time around. Will it come? Only they hold the power to choose!

Vinyl edition is very nice, good sound and a quality pressing.

If you have ever liked The Cure, Nick Cave or anything remotely regarded as brooding and atmospheric, Warpaint could be your new favourite band.
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on 21 January 2014
Warpaint is undoubtedly one of my all time favourite bands, and therefore I had to listen to this album a few times before finally coming to any sort of conclusion. Especially given that Warpaint don't have the most accessible sound.

This album certainly isn't The Fool v2. There aren't nearly as many jangly guitar lines weaving together nor as many vocal harmonies, for instance. Rather, they've very much taken an electronic direction. I wouldn't go so far as to say electronic sounds have replaced the guitar lines. Rather, I think the biggest shortcoming of this album is that, in a lot of the songs, nothing seems to have replaced the guitars. The stronger tracks have managed to replace the guitars with new electronic sounds. Biggy, for instance, has a that nice chunky synth riff.

The first five tracks are no doubt the strongest. Unfortunately, tracks 6-10 seem to disrupt the overall flow of the album. Disco//very is very grinding, Go In is very forgettable, and the same could be said of Feeling Alright and CC. However, they do all have that eerie, sweet, mysterious, ethereal, dark and brooding Warpaint flavour that I've have become so fond of. They just lack substance. The last two tracks sound more like the Warpaint I know and love. They seem to be less boneless than the 5 preceding tracks. They are more structured and have more of Warpaint's gorgeous vocal harmonies. Drive is, in fact, for me one of the high points of the album. Son, as well, manages to combine a guitar sound reminiscent of Radiohead's the bends and Lana Del Rey type vocals, and created something that is so utterly Warpaint.

Although I am slightly disappointed, I think this album will only improve with further listening. Just as The Fool did a few years back.
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on 8 July 2014
A grinding twisted compelling intro and we are off on the Warpaint path of atmospheric mesmerizing indie. 'Keep It Healthy' is more of the same with their trademark guitar intertwining riffs "i could not believe what I was seeing". Suppose the review should stop here. Song descriptions are not really that important as each number sounds fairly similar to the others but this is not a problem because it is such a good formula that you want to re-listen & re-listen without boredom ever creeping in. Weakest track is probably 'Disco//Very' but even this is fine. Star tracks are the already mentioned 'Keep It Healthy, 'Biggy' with its deep resonant synth motif & melancholic vocals "made of a lover", 'Teese' floats in its dream like qualities "i mean more now i want more now i'm in heaven", 'Feeling Alright' wonderful compelling atmosphere and final track 'Son' is beautifully sung over plaintive piano chords....and difficult me thinks (to sing like this)...yep talented "standing in the garden got my number from the one who says go on". Warpaint are Stella, Jenny, Emily & Theresa and these are stellar gentle immaculate terrific soundscapes. [the 2x12" 33⅓rpm vinyl with 4th side etching plus gatefold sleeve with 4 brilliant inner individual pic sleeves is simply sublime]
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on 15 February 2014
This album has had (very) mixed reviews and it's taken some time for it to sink in with me since I think even it's admirer's would admit it is hardly packed with hooks! However I've found it to be a definite grower that can be summed up as; "bass heavy post-punk with wispy shoe-gazer vocals". The post-punk bit I like being a real fan of the genre and especially those late70's/early 80's bands that inspired by reggae pushed the bass to the fore of their sound (think 'PiL', 'Delta 5', 'Au Pairs', 'Slits', 'Young Marble Giants', 'Joy Division', 'A Certain Ratio', 23 Skidoo', 'The Fall' and so on). The bass driven grooves are embellished with flecks of guitar and synth with memorable synth-riffing on the single, "Biggy". The vocals are more problematic being ethereal and intangible in the main, just like the early 90's shoe-gazer bands, thereby not really doing the music justice. Nevertheless the best track (by far) hints at a solution to the vocal problem, "Disco//Very" which contains excellent chanted, slightly discordant vocal harmonies and a taut, moody groove --- more of this sort of thing in the future would be welcome.

Therefore a solid sophomore album; a slight improvement over their 1st in my opinion despite the manifest lack of true originality (hard to achieve these days!) and it is somewhat brave (or foolish in this Spotify-age) to put out an album that is so inaccessible without considerable effort on the part of the listener.
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on 23 March 2014
The good tracks, there are six in my view, are excellent. The other songs are fillers and so a bit inconsistent overall. And not enough material to fill 4 sides of vinyl so you get the band's logo etched on the 4th side! Unlike many reviewers, I prefer this to the Fool.
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on 31 March 2014
This popped up as an Amazon recommendation - one of their best ever. This just grips you and whisks you away. Atmospheric, visceral and standing up to intense listening as well as brilliant mood music, this is well worth a listen.
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on 16 June 2014
I feel that Warpaint have really grown into their sound. This is their best album yet. Buy this album now.
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on 20 January 2014
Warpaint's The Fool and Exquisite Corpse are two of my favourite releases so I was looking forward to a new Warpaint release. My version on lovely 2x red vinyl arrived a couple of days early and comes with a download code. Note: the vinyl only fills 3 sides with most of the 12 tracks around 4 minutes in length.

What I've always loved about Warpaint are their rather obscure tracks combined with Emily Kokal's close to cracking up vocals. I started to have concerns with this new album when guitarist/vocalist Theresa Wayman stated that previous albums were "totally crammed" with "too much instrumentation" and "We leant towards things we thought were sexier". Whatever this means? There were rave reactions on YouTube to `love is to die' with its key change chorus but it left me rather unimpressed. The album has some nice vocal harmonies but most of the songs have stripped out guitars leaving the vocals, bass, and drums to carry the songs. Guitars lazily jiggle in then out but on many tracks they have largely been replaced with synthesizer. I'm sure this new direction will spilt fan opinion? Even on the track `Hi' - which other reviews are stating as the highpoint - drum kit is mostly replaced with drum machine and synth for guitar. Personally, I like 'Feeling Alright' where this new focus works extremely well with its subdued dubstep bass line leading into the tracks 'CC' and 'Drive'.

Unlike previous releases there is a lack of urgency and rawness. It's like the band have thought way too long over each track musing over every detail. The album is therefore a muted affair and with very few edgy vocals. The guitar work is so restrained that none of this atmospheric drifting transports you to a different place. Most of the time the music lacks anything that will remotely stir your senses. I'm very sorry to say less instrumentation has equalled rather boring songs. Nothing on this release comes close to matching the brilliance of 'Majesty', 'Beetles', 'Elephants' or 'Undertow' which is a major shame.

The album 'Warpaint' may have advanced the band technically in recording and production techniques but in the end we have an album that's rather too easy listening and completely forgettable. You could play this to your Granma, at a vicar's teas party, or even in a shopping centre and it would not offend anyone and would just drift into their subconscious as background music. I believe my score generally reflects what music critics have given and for once they maybe right.
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on 15 June 2014
I'm still out on this one...It's still not hitting the spot, and I don't know why. The fool seemed to flow better than this. I'm going to play it again, in its entirety, and see if it's going to do the business. Was I expecting too much??
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