Review: Warpaint, O2 Academy, Newcastle

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ALL-girl psychedelic rock outfit Warpaint enthralled the audience of the O2 Academy in Newcastle on Monday.

The LA-based quartet formed seven years ago but have only quite recently been propelled into the spotlight after the worldwide release of their debut EP, Exquisite Fool, in 2009.

Guitarist and lead singer Emily Kokal’s vocals were as breath-taking in real life as they are on CD and her distinctive voice soared above the high notes with ease, while secondary singer and guitarist Theresa Wayman lent her gravelly vocals to some of the more upbeat songs.

Jenny Lee Lindberg was a delight to watch on bass as she wandered the stage as though in a trance, but never missing a note, and Stella Mozgawa on drums provided a storming back beat.

The quartet played singles Undertow and Shadows from their 2010 album, The Fool, to rapturous applause from the completely captivated audience who were also given a taste of a couple of new songs, all which went down with the same appreciation.

My favourite song on the night was the epic seven-minute long EP track, Beetles, where singers Emily and Theresa weaved their very different vocals over the many-threaded song.

The group charmed the audience with their frequent interactions and even dedicated a song to the lone-moshing youth in front of me, much to his delight.

For the finale, Kokal returned solo on stage for the acoustic track Baby, before being joined by the rest of the band to finish off the night with the amazing EP track Elephants.

Warpaint are certainly not your typical girl band and their refusal to follow musical trends and instead play their original blend of ethereal vocals over complex guitars and thunderous bass has earned them a loyal fan base as well as critical acclaim.