Album Review: Warpaint – Heads Up

By Alex Sherry, Contributor

[Rough Trade; 2016]

Rating: 5.5/10

Key Tracks: “So Good,” “By Your Side”

Since the release of their debut album Exquisite Corpse, Warpaint have been delivering solid rock tracks that sound more like listening to a group of talented musicians jam session rather than full flushed out songs. This can also be said about the group’s most recent album Heads Up.

Warpaint attempts to make something fresh with their newest album. Creating a subtle blend of art-rock and dance pop tracks that are pleasing in short bursts, but are hindered by an awful flow and many instantly forgettable songs.

Trying to pinpoint exactly what Warpaint is trying to do in this album is no easy feat. From The xx-sounding track “Whiteout” to the hard hitting beat of “Dre” and ending with the ethereal acoustic melody of the album’s closer “Today Dear,” Heads Up clearly has no direction. It’s hard to find a beginning and an end to this record which is something that all great albums have in common, all that is presented are songs that are lazily grouped together.

Although the album completely lacks flow and direction there are some really great tracks that stand out. The song “So Good” opens with a powerful bassline that drives the track forward later introducing a wide variety of percussion and synths that swell into a very satisfying dance tune. Also, the track “By Your Side” shows how good the musicians of Warpaint are at their respective instruments, each member getting a chance to shine.

Heads Up is a departure from their rock influenced albums of the past. It feels like every band these days is creating a pop album and there is not enough here to make Warpaint stand out.

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