[sic] Magazine

Warpaint – Exquisite Corpse

Le cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse) is a parlour game where players draw or write on folded paper without knowledge of what had previously been added or what was to come. Naturally, it was popular with the Surrealist movement who sought to gain artistic freedom from its exploitation. It isn’t clear quite how this relates to Warpaint’s debut EP but it at least hints at a willing sense of expression that whets the appetite from the onset.

Warpaint are three young ladies from Los Angeles who used to be four until the rigorous demands of Hollywood plucked their drummer from their midst. A replacement came easily as the band had John Frusciante on board to mix the debut. Drawing widespread and merely tip-of-the-iceberg-type comparisons to Chan Marshall of Cat Power fame, Warpaint slowly worked themselves out of Hollywood and into hipster acclaim. Their six tracks never rush, happy in restraint and always comfortable in taking longer than strictly necessary to make their point.

Exquisite Corpse floats around the space it creates. The chilly vocal encroaches on Beach House country. The simple guitar echoes as iconic lifts ebb and flow. Plodding spookily, “Beetles” wakes with one minute to go contorting into a sultry bass line. The tempo is again upped for “Elephants” and the vocal momentarily quivers under treatment . The lengthy “Billie Holiday” borrows the lyrics from the Motown classic “My Guy” and proceeds to leave them outside to shiver in the cold while folk-ish acoustic guitar plucks away frostily.

If this track makes them then it will be at the expense of the under-rated Mechanical Bride who perfected this glacial waltz with 2008’s Part II EPs. Either way, “Billie Holiday” is neither cover nor tribute and whilst Warpaint may lift, they are nevertheless decidedly unto themselves.