Tone Deft

"Heads Up" by Warpaint

By Hanna Schindler
On September 29, 2016

The female, four-piece, art-rock band Warpaint released their third full-length album “Heads Up” on Sept. 23. Exuding an aura of confidence, the band is calling it their most mature album thus far.

‘Mature’ can often have a negative connotation when it comes to a new album; the adjective has established itself on the music reviewing circuit as a working euphemism for boring or riskless.

“Heads Up,” however, pushes the envelope with an experimental sound that isn’t exactly mundane.

The opening track, “Whiteout,” features the band’s distinguished, harmonizing and hypnotizing vocals, weaved into an intricate percussion and driving post-punk bass line, which Warpaint fans like myself thrive on.

Nonetheless, this album is seemingly less focused than the group’s last two chimeric albums “The Fool” and “Warpaint,” with more up-beat rhythms and less brooding undertones. The tracks on “Heads Up” don’t seem to share a common theme.

Many tracks on this album are danceable numbers, which could be to the effect of their live performances.

Don’t get me wrong, danceable tracks have their place in my heart, but perhaps it is the longtime Warpaint enthusiast inside of me that was hoping for another rhythmic, heartbreaking candor on this album, but was instead met with a less fluid and almost emotionless dance party on some tracks.

The track “New Song,” is perhaps the most commercial and detached song on the album, but is still undeniably catchy.

The lack of continuity or central idea on the album isn’t necessarily a bad thing and although “Heads Up” is less post-punk, more digitized and out of character for Warpaint, it is not without its high points and a few tracks on the album pay homage to Warpaint’s original emotional luster.

The tracks “Don’t Wanna,” “So Good,” and “The Stall,” which tackle experimental rhythms that exude fun, are enlaced with tracks like”Today Dear” and “Above Control” that emit a mystic soulfulness.           

“Heads Up” seems to create a new direction for Warpaint but that may not be the case. With less wallowing than usual, this album is a more up-beat version of their normal sound that usually bleeds with a similar fixation as The Cure.

However, this doesn’t mean their sound is gone but instead has morphed into something that will most likely make their shows a more euphoric and cheerful experience.

With rumors of a band breakup and a handful of side projects between band mates, let’s hope that Warpaint releases another album, with perhaps a tighter track list and more definite sound before the end of their era.

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