The Fool

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Warpaint are an all female, much hyped quartet, drenched in the bloodied remains of 80s Goth, and darlings of the Hollywood scene. The Fool is their highly anticipated debut album on Rough Trade records. Beginning at the very start; “Set Your Arms Down” is going to be a cold, bleak and bassy introduction for many but it gets much more welcoming when it all goes a bit Kid A at the 3 minute mark and when a song can take you from despair to somewhere good in the space of 5 minutes you get the feeling that the album is going to be a grower. The heavy bass continues on “Warpaint” and so do the dark vocal harmonies, however, unlike the opening track it just never really kicks into gear. When the bone trembling bass and guitar kick in on “Undertow” it starts to dawn that maybe Warpaint are a one trick pony, a product of the LA hype machine. There's nothing particularly original about this band (just take a look at the front cover of The Fool and you'll probably be able to guess exactly what the music is like) and the individual songs don't really stick out but there's still something sucking you in, like a (literal) morbid fascination. As the album goes on though, the fascination lessens; “Bees” starts off interestingly enough but then slips into what seems to be the Warpaint formula of an all too dull plodding. “Majesty” is another track that takes an age to kick in, and when it does it’s great but all too brief. Some much needed respite comes in the acoustically pleasing "Baby" which is a total departure from the rest of the record and, despite its quiet nature, really livens up the second half. Even with its few moments of genius The Fool is essentially a thoroughly depressing affair, something which may provide a welcome alternative in sun kissed LA, but in cold dark England the monotony is all a bit too much.