Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Warpaint’s warpath to success

Los Angeles all female four-piece Warpaint brought their own brand of experimental art rock to London's Lexington last night (24 May), and what an attack it was.

At Brighton's Great Escape festival earlier this month and at South By South West before that, they were the talk of the town, quite rightly so.

These girls know how to rock, and so accomplished they are in their roles, their playful and dynamic live show takes on a life of it's own compared with their dreamy Mazzy Star-esque MySpace tracks.

With only eleven songs in the set, they played for over an hour, owing to the space they give the tunes to develop legs and meander into some experimental jam.

The drum and bass unit were both busting matching brilliant red, all-in-one romper suits and maybe it was their eye-catching attire, or the fact that they were centre stage no further than a meter away from each other at all times, but I couldn't take my eyes off them.

Australian lean mean drumming machine Stella Mozgawa barely broke a sweat, driving the band with post-punk rhythms, while bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg's body undulated as she emitted strong, repetitive bassline grooves.

Their on-stage chemistry was expressed further when percussionist Stella swapped with Theresa to play some guitar on Set Your Arms Down, and she and Jenny knelt together on the floor, occasionally touching heads as if they were conjoined twins sharing the same musical frequency (pictured above).

Their sounds underpinned the stirring guitar parts and hypnotic vocals of Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman, which would peak and trough in and out of epic crescendos.

Warpaint count Billy Zane, the late Heath Ledger and former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante - who gladly mixed their debut EP Exquisite Corpse - among their fans.

40 Days and 40 Nights actress Shannyn Sossamon, who was the original drummer and is the sister of Jenny Lee Lindberg, was in the audience as was Babyshambles' Drew McConnell and BBC 6 Music presenter Steve Lamacq, who has been championing them on his show.

The crowd was also smattered with an intriguing group of shaven-headed, somewhat lairy lads, who looked as if they'd accidentally missed the pub playing the England match and ended up there.

However, they turned out to be super fans, singing every word to the band's commercial calling-card, Billie Holiday, which features the melody from Mary Wells' Motown classic My Guy.

It seems the secret's out and the fast-rising band could be quite a success in the UK, deservedly so.

Their lush shoegaze melodies can obviously melt the hardest of hearts and what's more, we have their first album to look forward to as they've been in the studio with Grammy Award-winning producer Tom Biller.

He recorded the acclaimed Punch Drunk Love soundtrack, among others, helped launch the Silversun Pickups' career and recently co-produced the Where The Wild Things Are Soundtrack written by Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Warpaint's debut LP is scheduled to be released this year, August I believe. Watch out, because this talented bunch seem to be on the right warpath to greatness.


Set Your Arms Down

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