Just a year after making a splash at CMJ 2009 and touring extensively (both headlining and filling major support slots) on the strength of their outstanding debut EP, Exquisite Corpse, all-female Los Angeles quartet Warpaint’s long-awaited, much-anticipated full-length debut has finally arrived.

Produced by Tom Biller (Beck, Liars), The Fool is a bit more polished, and at times, lacks the rawness that added to the immediate appeal of Exquisite Corpse. Still, it’s psychedelic and ethereal, awash in gorgeous, intricate guitar melodies, the hypnotic vocals of Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman, and the driving post-punk rhythms of bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg and drummer Stella Mozgawa. 

Splendidly trance-inducing, this nine-song Fool beckons listeners in with the first track, the haunting, slow-burning “Set Your Arms Down,” which is at once familiar – in the sense that it vaguely recalls a distant memory – and brand new.  It’s followed by the irresistible-to-dance-to, groovin’ psychedelic jam “Warpaint.” “Shadows” starts out with a great warbly acoustic guitar riff, reminiscent of the sound of a warped vinyl record, and is a superb display of Wayman’s vocal range.  It also has one of the best lyrics I’ve ever heard, “You and all your pieces/You and all your pieces made me come.”  The intro to “Composure” doesn’t quite prepare you for the sheer rocking brilliance that comes after the first minute, and the melancholic all-acoustic “Baby,” has another fantastic line, “You live your life like a page from the book of my fantasy.”  The final track, “Lissie’s Heart Murmur,” opens with an unexpected piano melody that drives the song throughout.

The Fool is an otherworldly gem that is waiting to enfold you. Just give in. (Rough Trade) -- Teresa Sampson

  1. [...] awash in gorgeous, intricate guitar melodies, hypnotic vocals and driving post-punk rhythms, this full-length debut from the fast-rising Los Angeles-based quartet is splendidly [...]