Friday, February 26, 2010


Exquisite Corpse (11.09 Re-released 2010, Manimal Vinyl)

For: Slowdive, the xx, Seam

Byline: Warm, druggy, psychedelia poised to break in 2010. You've been warned.

Has it really been a year since the TOME got going? I would like to take a second to thank everyone for reading this and for Crawford and Erin contributing their wonderfully written articles. The TOME started as a purely personal music blog, a way to digest and engage the avalanching amount of music I have been consuming over the past years. The TOME continues in that function, but it is has branched out to include (2) more like-minded friends and the focus has hopefully shifted to exposure more than anything. So, as I procrastinate in getting to the really awesome EP by Warpaint, I just wanted to say thanks, to whoever is reading this out there and for the bands who have so graciously made everyday a great listening experience. I'll continue to squeeze out articles at work and before class if you keep churning out the hits. And with that, we dive like a periscope into the swirling, sexy beauty that is Warpaint.

Making their debut last year, Warpaint seems poised for a Apache like coup of 2010. Warpaint is a four-piece female possee that embody head-spinning psychedelic layered guitar lines and extensive vocal manipulation when they want rock and the downtempo sexiness of the xx meets the molten crawl of nineties slowcore for a majority of the album when they slow things down. Slowing things down, however, reveals new levels of tripped out and stripped down angular guitar work similar to Isaac Brock's early harmonic noodling. Warpaint can create lived-in soundscapes that become more and more familiar with each listen, creating something wholly comfortable and with reverby, down comforter warmth piled into the small unobserved corners. "Billie Holiday", a tongue-in-cheek ode to the famous crooner, morphs (almost unnoticed at first) into a heartfelt acoustic cover of the Mary Wells Motown hit "My Guy". When Warpaint want to totally rock it out, there is no grinding in the switching of gears. There is a lymphatic flow from subdued to ecstatic, piling on more distortion on the guitars, enveloping Emily Kokal's soft coo with a watery vocal distortion, and luring Stelly Mozgawa back from keeping time into propulsive breakdowns that spew triplet patterns like anti-aircraft missiles. Warpaint's mystique is wrapped in a druggy, droney, feminine magicthat grows on repeated spins.

I wouldn't call this nepotism, but Warpaint's driving bass lines and Emily Kokal's soothing voice sound recall fondly the dynamic and sound of TOME contributing member Crawford's band The Vitamins, I have written them up twice (before he was a member), but if you haven't you should check 'em out here.

Ryan H.

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