This one threw me for a loop. Instrumentally, Warpaint is a dynamic, emo-tinged indie rock record. Every performance is flawless, from the crisp guitar leads to the driving drums. The production is sparkling. The catch: the vocals are delivered in a slurred, off-key rasp that would sound perfectly at home in a muddy anarcho outfit. Weird, right? And the arrangement is a whole other story—every song culminates in an extended gang vocal chorus that might have been lifted from a pizza-and-beer pop punk basement. This kind of genre mismatch has yielded some of my favorite oddball bands (I’m thinking Comadre, and I’m not surprised to see that Jack Shirley had a hand in the production here), but for some reason I just feel like I’m not getting this yet. To the credit of When There Is None, the execution is so thoughtful and meticulous that they make me feel like it’s my fault. Like, this artwork is beautiful, the lyrics are lean and powerful… but why does this guy’s voice keep reminding me of fucking Tim Armstrong? What’s wrong with me? I should be into this. I aspire to be into this.
–Indiana Laub (Rockstar)