For a band who has just released their first record, Warpaint sound absolutely exhausted. “I’m afraid, I’m drunk and I’m tired … my hand in my pocket I feel like a shadow,” sings Theresa Wayman in her reverb-drenched sigh on “Shadows.” The band has been scaling the ever-precarious mountain of indie-buzz for a couple years now, thanks primarily to an intriguing EP back in 2009—garnering comparison to everyone from alt-rock OG’s like Sonic Youth and The Breeders to fellow upstarts Crystal Stilts. But The Fool, which took nearly six years to finalize, incorporates coastal psych and voluminous noise-pop with a dash of Spector-flecked harmonies.
A closer sonic touchstone is Vivian Girls. The band does borrow some of those now-ubiquitous girl-group aesthetics, but Warpaint are cut out of a much different cloth. The songs on The Fool are primarily slow, crestfallen compositions with no punk-aggro and a lot of bruised feelings—“You could’ve been my king,” cries out a stormy Kogal on “Majesty.” “Baby” in particular removes any studio trickeries and leaves Emily with her lonesome libretto and an acoustic guitar. These girls wear their emotions on their sleeves, resulting in one of the most distressed (and un-coincidentally, one of the most striking) records we’ve heard from the L.A. scene in quite some time.