There is more space on Warpaint’s latest, self-titled album than on their previous release, The Fool and Exquisite Corpse. Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante—who mixed and mastered Warpaint’s debut EP—is replaced by Flood and Nigel Godrich, who handle most of the technical duties this time.
There is also less angst, which is replaced by ambiance. All songs roll in with hypnotic syncopation; haunting vocal harmonies weave in and out as washed guitar sounds come loose, like velvety ribbons untied from a corset. Indicative of Warpaint’s piecemeal song-writing approach, each song on the album surprises with multiple unique, unexpected arrangements. In typical style, each part flows seamlessly as drummer Stella Mozgawa and bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg sustain tight, swelling rhythms.
New synth layers bring continuity to tracks like “Tease,” “Drive,” and “Biggy.” “Feeling Alright” is reminiscent of Warpaint’s original vibe as its vocal and guitar melodies play off one another. The pre-album single “Love Is to Die” blends these old and new sounds with a chorus that hangs in the air with question.
Warpaint’s intriguing dynamic and innate ability to control the flow of tension and release in their music are intact on The Fool and Exquisite Corpse. The album creates a sonic atmosphere that is only magnified in their live shows, in which the band is known to bring presence, attitude, and even hugs for their fans.