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November 2019
Review

Warpaint - Heads Up

The band’s third record is a burst of rainbow-soaked exploration.
Warpaint - Heads Up
Published: 10:56 am, September 23, 2016
The band’s third record is a burst of rainbow-soaked exploration.

Label: Rough Trade
Released: September 23rd 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Warpaint have made their trade in increasingly dark and enchanting records. Well, they did until ‘Heads Up’. Energetic, intense and oh-so-colourful, the band’s third record is a burst of rainbow-soaked exploration.

The opening heartbeat of ‘Whiteout’ quickly blossoms into a full-bodied physicality, all fast steps and faster changes, and that movement dances throughout ‘Heads Up’. The band sing of new discoveries and that wide-eyed excitement can be felt behind every breath, every look and every wonderful collision.

From the honeymoon electricity of ‘New Song’ through the pendulum swing of ‘So Good’ and out the other side via a joyous wig out towards the swaying threat of ‘Don’t Wanna’, Warpaint are in love with new. Every touch feels special and every turn, daring. The band are still crafting places of escape but instead of headphones and dark rooms, this record opens a door of forward motion and changed perspectives.

‘Heads Up’ hits hard and suddenly. The reflective groove of ‘Dre’ is unavoidable and the twitching starry-eyed delight of ‘By Your Side’ course through veins with reckless abandon yet every swing is backed by an emotional weight.

Intense, ready to go and ensuring a lasting bond, ‘Heads Up’ has a warming vice-like grip. Warpaint have broken away from their expected next step, and captured the excitement of breaking the rules. The path before them was too easy, too predictable and too straightforward. ‘Heads Up might be a left turn but the band are looking out onto something bigger. It might be daunting but there’s an eternal beauty to that horizon and Warpaint have their sights set firmly upon it. Ali Shutler

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