It’s been some time since Warpaint cast a spell on us with their glisteningly dark and lulling debut album ‘The Fool’ (review), a late-2010 set which conjured up a time when gothic smacked less of Camden Market and more of The Cure.
The LA foursome’s second LP, ‘Warpaint’, is as devastatingly brooding as ever. “Love is to die… Love is to not die… Love is to live,” chime singers Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman in ‘Love Is To Die’, a darkly sexy and off-kilter third track that elevates the album into something spectacular.
Warpaint have always managed to make music to totally submerge yourself in, like an oil painting mixed with blood, and this album is no exception. With the addition of some murky synths in ‘Biggy’ (below) and vocal hypnosis to rival ‘Dummy’-era Portishead in ‘Hi’, ‘Warpaint’ uncoils before you in a meandering jam of rattling drumbeats and deep silky bass.
Is it a step up from ‘The Fool’? Not exactly, but it exhibits the kind of difference that comes with success. When venues have to get bigger, the music needs to fill it. Maybe it’s because of this that we hear more trip-hop-style drum machines and a general ambience that’s likely to make for an incredible live performance.
As with their debut, there is always the trepidation that some might find Warpaint’s more obscure tracks a little dull. But in an era where Avicii and OneRepublic top charts, let’s stick to the positive opposite opinion.
Words: Daisy Jones
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