Craig is retired Performing Musician and Actor. He contributes various musings for Circus Bazaar.
The space and time Warpaint create lends this group to a unique continuum. There is patience and virtue, all-encompassing sounds and tones and a ‘real’ drum kit/percussion character not to be ignored. Beware, you will require a meditative like state to make it from start to finish. If you’re expecting the music to infiltrate the pleasure centres of your brain, stop. You will need patience, time and focus to be inspired. This is not the cheap pleasure seeking music that artists (if they can be called that) like Justin Bieber, One Direction or dare I say ‘PINK’ continue to dumb the masses with.
The album is produced by Flood. Consider 35 years of experience and production credits including New Order, Nine Inch Nails, PJ Harvey, Depeche Mode and more, His influence is clear and I would suggest he could be given some writing credits for his work on the album.
There is an intro track. Why, I’m not sure, it’s not the equivalent to the first movement of a symphony. The second track returns us to where they left off with the 2009 album ‘Fool’. It’s the nuances in the writing that separate these guys from average. Listen in about 1:00 minute and you’ll know why. Track three ‘Love is to Die’ has a good pace, the drums keep the song moving with an almost shuffle. Vocals are melodic and the music works well.
The track ‘Biggy’ could best be described as a sound scape of concentric circles, it builds and builds, loop after loop, every few bars more and more sounds always referring to the same axis of origin.
Track from new album ‘Biggy’
‘Tease’ slows things down a little after the previous track. It exemplifies this bands ability to stay in a track when it’s down tempo, sweet and good. It is patient and so should you be. ‘Disco/Very’ presents with an almost dub step rhythm, whacky vocals and while the track is nothing too outstanding, it does provide diversity within the rhythms when considering the album as whole. This would translate well live.
‘Go In’ is a highlight on this album, and I would happily hit repeat after two or three times through. It’s well-structured, superb, a class act. This defines what the group do well.
Clear evidence that this quartet understand the importance of a high quality rhythm section is provided in ‘Feeling Right’. It’s consistent and the vocals continue their melodic appeal. I love how the track quietens down about 2:00 minutes and gradually builds only to slow down before leading us into ‘CC’.
Hang on for the rest album ‘CC’ uses an almost diminished approach to the chord voicing’s, and the falsetto vocals continue to maintain a cloud like fashion above the music.
Enough said, it can drag a little.
It is groups like Warpaint, along with Grizzly Bear and Tortoise that remind us of all that has passed in the history of recorded music there are more twists and turns on the way. Call it anti-folk, shoegazing rock, however you wish to describe the genre, this album is good and it represents the year 2014.
France’s vocals are intent, holistic and purposeful. The lyrics are as they need to be, at times urgent, also reflective, on time or in the moment. The writing is mature and scripted and leaves openings for improvisation. The old school...