Warpaint
Exquisite Corpse


3.0
good

Review

by Richard Craig USER (120 Reviews)
September 13th, 2011 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I wanna pretend that Jenny Lee Lindberg is my girlfriend

If there’s one thing to be said of Warpaint’s debut EP, ‘Exquisite Corpse’, it is this: The whole thing oozes sex, seduction, and a drug-like haze. In fact, at times it can seem that everything is designed this way – but never overwhelmingly so, as the EP generally feels very spontaneous. Firstly, it is impossibly smooth, slick almost; though instead of feeling overly polished and manufactured, it feels wholly organic. Secondly, the breathy vocals of Emily Kokal (lead vocalist) and Theresa Wayman (back-ups, lead on ‘Beetles’) are siren-like, entrancing and inviting throughout. They are ably supported, (or should that be surrounded?), by stunning instrumentation – individually brilliant, and collectively hypnotic.

Shimmering guitar melodies characterised by hammer-ons and gentle arpeggios flow in and out of another like water, simultaneously marrying tendencies from shoegaze, post-rock and psychedelica – sometimes in the space of one song (‘Elephants’). All of this is masterfully underpinned by the elegant bass lines penned by Jenny Lee Lindberg, often melodies themselves, as opposed to simple root-note progressions. The relationship between the guitars, and between guitars and bass is, at times, sensually breath-taking, and goes a long way to defining the album’s sound and feel. This tentative, but no less effective interplay between the two is especially gorgeous on the ‘How Strange, Innocence’-era Explosions in the Sky flavoured ‘Stars’. The rhythm section is completed by Jenny's sister, Shannyn Sossamon, a competent drummer (Warpaint’s rhythm section would exponentially improve after the arrival of Stella Mozgawa after ‘Exquisite Corpse’s release), but an effective one nonetheless. For example, it is her drumming which facilitates a mesmerising mood change in the EP’s opener.

Ultimately, the EP is not without its downfalls however, and they tend to revolve around the album’s hazy, seductive manner. At times, ‘Exquisite Corpse’ is simply too smooth for its own good. All too often its fluidity gives way to meandering, almost directionless song structures which frustrate as much as they fascinate. This uneasy truth is not helped by the near-total absence (the childlike, charming ‘Billie Holiday’ aside) of any discernible ‘hooks’ - though it does have an uncanny way of softly working its way under your skin. Furthermore, any deviation from their template of sleek, glorious psychedelic-indie more often than not impacts negatively on the EP. Awkward, abrupt (some would say lazy) transitions in ‘Elephants’ and ‘Krimson’ spoil the flow of the EP – though it could be argued that such sudden shifts are effective in momentarily snapping the listener out of their reverie, particularly in the former. ‘Elephants’, though still the most accessible track to be found here, also uses an inexplicably large amount of compression and distortion on Kokal’s vocals which negate their usual suggestive demeanour.

All in all, ‘Exquisite Corpse’ is a very accomplished EP – especially for a debut. Much like the childhood game it takes its title from – where you fold a piece of paper into sections, take turns to draw body parts and then unfold to reveal the final work – it feels intensely impulsive, and herein lies its greatest strength and most fatal flaw. ‘Exquisite Corpse’s unpredictability continually makes for a refreshing listen, and is great to get lost into. However, it feels wholly unstructured and inferior to its successor, ‘The Fool’, where they were able to sufficiently rein in their creativity. Nevertheless, ‘Exquisite Corpse’ is still a work of startling beauty, and as a template of what’s to come, it is a very promising debut.



Recent reviews by this author
leer SPRINGBREAKNOPARENTSThe Lawrence Arms Metropole
You Blew It! Keep Doing What You’re DoingHammock Oblivion Hymns
Warpaint The FoolThe Gaslight Anthem Handwritten
user ratings (82)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2011


23848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

about time this got a review. you can have Jenny but I get the drummer ( I forget her name atm)

iFghtffyrdmns
September 13th 2011


7047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ahhh great review craigy, I think I feel exactly the same way, apart from perhaps liking it just a little more than you.
well done buddy, a well deserved pos.

craigy2
September 13th 2011


551 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Deal. Her name's Stella Mozgawa - or do you mean the drummer from Exquisite Corpse, thats Shannyn Sossamon. Whatever, Jenny's far cuter.
Cheers, Fight. To be honest this is somewhere between a 3 and a 3.5, but reading it back it sounded quite negative so I settled for a 3. I still listen to this a hell of a lot though. Can't wait to see these girls!

craigy2
October 18th 2011


551 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i met jenny's mum on sunday. i accidentally told her that her daughter is the most beautiful woman i've ever seen and that i'm in love with her...

Dunpeal
September 13th 2012


3683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5



idk man Shannyn is the cuter one for me, especially with that cute ass mole


this isn't bad for what seems like a pet project. moving onto the full length

Solisis
September 13th 2012


370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet band, needs more attention

tommygun
September 13th 2012


24954 Comments


Really good band. I love the guitar tones and production on this, very immersive.

Oh and Jenny > Shannyn for me

Dunpeal
September 13th 2012


3683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5



yeah for sure, i love that bass in Krimson on this

Graveyard
September 13th 2012


5740 Comments


this has it's moments but i still prefer the fool

Digging: Nurse With Wound - Spiral Insana

tommygun
September 13th 2012


24954 Comments


The Fool is great too, yeah. Stella is a sweet drummer. I heard they are recording a new LP soon too

Pint of stella
September 17th 2012


57 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really love this band. Theresa Wayman is the cutest of all of them imo.

tommygun
May 10th 2013


24954 Comments


krimson is so good you guys

dat groove

tommygun
July 18th 2013


24954 Comments


bump

WhiteNoise
January 7th 2014


3171 Comments


Whoa whoa this is kinda cool. Those Guitar tones

tommygun
January 7th 2014


24954 Comments


krimson ♥♥♥♥♥

tommygun
January 13th 2014


24954 Comments


perfect ep might 5

ShitsofRain
January 14th 2014


5899 Comments


wonderful

Digging: Anthony Shakir - Frictionalism 1994-2009



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy