‘The Fool‘ was released by LA rock band Warpaint at the end of 2010. It was released 2 years after the LP that brought them to attention, ‘Exquisite Corpse‘ came out. After my first listen I wasn’t too sure about it, but it grew on me, much like their second album, ‘Warpaint’. I thought it was a little, “hey look at how cool we think we are“, but after a few listens I actually really liked it. I find this happening to myself quite a lot. It’s important though to go out and listen to something you might usually stay away from and to get out of your comfort zone. You just might strike gold.
The album starts with ‘Set Your Arms Down’ being lead along by drums. As the song moves along it picks up pace in both drums and guitar work, and the vocals by Emily Kokal tell a story in themselves. She has an unusual voice in that it’s constantly changing but remaining a little eerie. It almost sounds purposeful, that she keeps this trend going. ‘Warpaint’ starts with a savage intro, something straight out of the early 90’s rock scene and very catchy. You’ll hear throughout this record and the next the quality of the work of drummer Stella Mozgawa. In some songs she totally controls them and you find yourself waiting for the next track in the hope she’ll take centre stage again. In ‘Warpaint’, the vocals play a backing role for quite a while as the sound takes over. The haunting sound though plays its part in contributing to the Warpaint image. You all may know the next track ‘Undertow’, as it was the first single released. The track peaked at No. 30 in the UK singles chart but that’s a poor reflection of a quality track. One of the stand out tracks in terms of sound comes next in the sound of ‘Bees’. It’s got a electro/disco sound and more obvious vocals. Now, I won’t lie, I’ve no idea what the lyrics mean and in general the song is ok. It’s not their best effort, but it terms of being a bit ‘out-there’, it does fit the album.
The second half of the album starts with the brilliant ‘Shadows’. This is probably my favourite track off the record and it was also released as a single. It sums up everything good about Warpaint and their music. It surprises you, it twits and turns and changes song structure throughout. ‘Composure’ comes in next and it seems Warpaint lost a bit of theirs making this one. The first minute and a half is good, the haunting vocals bring us in before a quality drum solo. However, from there, the song kind of sees itself out. The next track is Warpaint’s love song. It’s a break from the usual theme on the album in that it’s all acoustic and her vocals are totally out in the open. It’s ‘Baby’. Nobody puts baby in the corner. And Warpaint certainly don’t. This was their encore when I saw them live, and Emily played it solo, and in fairness it was very good. ‘Majesty’ follows and goes with the electro/disco sound again, this time to lesser effect. It’s just an album filler for me especially after some of the quality tracks you’ll have heard. The album closer is ‘Lissie’s Heart Murmur’. This one feature a little psychedelic rock and is a solid finisher.
All in all, I do like this record. I throw it on every now and then when I’m in the mood for something a little odd, but rock-ish all the same. Check it out, their follow up album ‘Warpaint’ is also very good and I’ll review that too when I get the chance to give it a few listens again. You won’t be a fool for buying ‘The Fool’.
Photo Credit: WIkipedia