Warpaint have been making their own unique brand of lo-fi, psychedelic indie rock in their home town of LA since 2004, but it was only with the release of their debut EP, 'Exquisite Corpse', last year that they began to gain notice elsewhere in the world. Having lost guitarist Josh Klinghoffer (understandably) to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the now all-girl band recently signed to Rough Trade to release their debut album 'The Fool'.
From the stark opening of 'Set Your Arms Down', The Fool's haunting atmosphere is wholly intoxicating. There are no hooks, as such, as these melodies wander and wind, sometimes shifting to and fro, sometimes ending up in the most unexpected of places. A variety of effects give a watery quality to the girls' already fragile vocals but it's their shimmering harmonies that give these chilling songs their edge, layered and criss-crossed with particularly spine-tingling results on 'Undertow'.
Though the dark tone remains relatively constant, each track offers something individual. The quieter acoustic approach of 'Baby' is beautiful in its subtlety while the humming drone and resonating guitar of 'Warpaint' rouse a daunting, uneasy sensation. 'Majesty' is one of several tracks to hint at 90s grunge with dirty guitars, and the bubbling electronics of 'Bees' and bending guitar of 'Shadows' are among the few occasional allusions to the "art-rock" sub-genre with which Warpaint are often tagged. Wonderful stuff all round.