As the temperatures continue to drop into Atlanta's autumnal fifty degree lows, why not delve into an easily digestible and extremely enjoyable record? Warehouse's brand new 'Super Low' album, their second in two years, is just that. Experience an art-punk track listing with infectiously intricate guitars, and raspy vocals from Elain Edenfield, whose performance is reminiscent of a less-bluesy and harder, contemporary Janis Joplin. In fact, I found myself listening to old Joplin tracks and marveling at the similarity. Edenfield's voice takes some getting use to, but definitely packs a punch. Lyrics delivered here sound like they originated from a place of true pain and longing, especially on the title track 'Super Low'. Coming in towards the middle of the record, jangle pop vibes populate this three and a half minute track with macabre lyrics such as the repeated chorus, urging someone to "gouge my eyes", so that Edenfield may possibly "see another way". Thematically playing out with Morrisey levels of grave lyricism, many of the tracks on 'Super Low' are very pleasant in tone, but dark in subject matter. One of the catchier and, frankly, better tracks off the album, 'Super Low' exemplifies its title work.
Pacing on 'Super Low' is an ebb and flow. The record starts strong with 'Oscillator', a cut that moves in and out of several different grooves, eventually settling on a very satisfying flow in the last minute or so with a cutting bass that is not too overpowering, but highlighted enough to make a lasting impact. The next two tracks, 'Exit Only' and 'Simultaneous Contrasts', are weak points for me. They sound like B-sides from Mac Demarco's '2'. The guitar lick off of 'Simultaneous Contrasts' is agreeably quick, punctuated by even more rapid drums. While I appreciate the speed in the latter cut, I believe Warehouse sounds best in their less intensive, but extremely impactful songs. This is surely the case with the next few tracks. 'Arbitrarium V' contains one of my favorite melodies from the whole record, especially right around the 2:20 mark where Edenfield laments over her words and ideas shared to this arbitrarium, a place to store random thoughts, going so far as to say, "I was wrong, I was wrong". This segues perfectly into the pleasantly morbid title track discussed earlier. 'Audrey Home', 'Reservoir', and 'Long Exposure' are all paced well. 'Reservoir' is another track that exhibits Warehouse's great songwriting ability. Every instrument in this cut is heard distinctly and the vocals are purely genuine. While 'Modifier Analog' feels odd going into the record's ending (particularly with respect to the silence at the 3:10 mark where the groove is brought back in just for a ninety second interlude), 'Garden Walls' rectifies the situation and finishes the album off very nicely. 'Super Low' has a very good consistency that makes listening to the album extremely easy and fluid. Only thirty-four minutes long, this is one of the best recently released albums you can get for so short a duration. It is sure to put you in the mood for the season now upon us.
Songs of Note: Oscillator, Super Low, Reservoir, Garden Walls