Saturday, 26 April 2014

Warpaint - Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands - 24.02.2014 (Flac)

Excellent audience recorrding. Thanks to ianmacd for sharing ot on Dime. I actually think this band is brilliant, contrary to him :)


Type: Audience master, recorded 2 metres from left-hand side PA stack.

Source: Factory-matched pair of Schoeps CCM 41V microphones (DINa mounted) ->
    Marantz PMD661 recorder with Oade Concert Mod
    (-18 dB gain/44.1 kHz/24 bit WAV)

Lineage: Audacity 2.0.5
       * Normalised to 0 dB.
       * Applied variable envelope amplification across recording for
         consistent listening experience.
       * Attenuated audience noise.
       * Added fades.
       * Split tracks.
       * Converted to 16 bit.
     -> FLAC (compression level 8) [libFLAC 1.3.0 20130526]

Taper: ianmacd


01. [02:39] [intro]
02. [02:02] Intro
03. [04:22] Keep It Healthy
04. [05:21] Hi
05. [04:43] Composure
06. [00:16] [banter]
07. [05:30] Love Is To Die
08. [06:41] Biggy
09. [00:53] [banter]
10. [03:48] Feeling Alright
11. [06:50] Billie Holiday
12. [08:06] Undertow
13. [07:14] No Way Out
14. [05:14] Drive
15. [00:51] [banter]
16. [04:07] Disco//Very
17. [03:45] [encore break]
18. [00:20] [banter]
19. [05:04] Baby
20. [05:07] Bees
21. [12:22] Elephants

Total running time: 95:28


After a lacklustre performance at Crossing Border in The Hague in November,
I'm hoping Warpaint are well-rested and capable of better tonight.

The trouble is that you can't build a solid structure on a poor foundation.
Even if the band are at the top of their game tonight, it's a game built atop
weak songs and even weaker voices.

Why is it that so many American women have high-pitched, squeaky voices? You
encounter the phenomenon everywhere, of course, but it's much more pronounced
amongst American women. Why?

To my surprise, googling 'why american women have squeaky voices' actually
turns up a large amount of very interesting literature on the subject.

Warpaint have a full complement of such voices and, all too often, use them to
sing in unison. The net effect is akin to a collaboration between Pinky &
Perky (American readers may substitute the Chipmunks here) and a couple of
Smurfs. Rather than make for a fuller sound, it merely underscores the
inherent weakness of the individual voices.

Do you remember those talking dolls of yore with a plastic ring dangling from
their back? If you pulled the ring, a cord would extend, and as you released
the ring, the cord would slowly retract inside the doll, while the doll
muttered child-pleasing banalities in an irritatingly squeaky voice.

I can't help but be reminded of those dolls as I watch Warpaint perform to a
sold-out Paradiso tonight.

I don't mean to be unkind, but whatever musical qualities this band may
possess, an ability to sing is glaringly conspicuous by its absence.

Let's move on to the music.

On the subject of the songs, I can be brief: drab and uninspired.

To describe the band's sound, a single word will suffice: derivative. The
flanged bass is 'Tocsin' era Xmal Deutschland. The chorused guitars are
distilled from Robert Smith in both of his well-known guises.

It's as if someone exhumed the corpse of one of the countless forgotten goth
bands of the eighties, jolted it back to life with a defibrillator and then
sent it out on the live circuit to impress anyone too young and insufficiently
inquisitive to have heard it all before.

Sadly, I'm too old and informed to be anything other than bored rigid tonight.
The gig drags on and on, but the young whippersnappers around me lap it up as
if present at the gig of their life; and perhaps they are.

On the plus side, there's the rock solid rhythm section of bassist Jenny Lee
Lindberg and drummer Stella Mozgawa. They truly are a formidable partnership
and very enjoyable to watch. The trouble is, they're in the wrong band. They
need to ditch the chaff at the front and start anew.

Sorry, but someone has to say it. Cruel to be kind and all that.

Based on the reactions of those around me, the band put in a sterling
performance. From where I'm standing, however, it's an average performance by
an average band. Not even being told that I'm beautiful, with all the
exaggerated false sentiment so beloved of Americans, can lift my spirits.

And so we come to the recording. Rest assured that I have put the same effort
into making and mastering this recording as I would into one that I was
enthusiastic about. My opinion of the band has no impact on the quality of the
recording and should have no bearing on your ability to enjoy it.


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