REVIEW: Warpaint, The Leadmill

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AUDIENCES expect bands to appear fully-formed at the outset these days – so it’s something of a novelty to encounter a promising group that are still clearly capable of better things.

Warpaint arrived on UK shores in a blaze of hype last year, accompanied by tales of numerous celebrity fans picked up in their LA hometown.

The all-female four-piece’s sound is dominated by complicated rhythms and murky guitars laden with effects pedals, influenced by 1980s acts from indie label 4AD, such as the Cocteau Twins.

Floating over all this are the harmonies of singer-guitarists Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman.

Live, Warpaint sounded much stronger than on their debut album The Fool.

The setlist took in the LP, plus new tracks and cuts from early EP Exquisite Corpse. Undertow, their most direct song, got the biggest cheer of the night, along with Elephants, extended with a hypnotic jam – which may conjure up images of aimless hippie noodlings, but there’s no other word for it.

Kokal took to the stage solo for a touching rendition of Baby, which should have ended the gig – instead the band launched into another lengthy number, testing the audience’s patience slightly.

They’re still finding their feet – with a little conciseness, their next outing will hopefully be even more impressive.