Wicked Faith: ‘Warpaint’

Wicked Faith CD cover 4WICKED FAITH
WARPAINT
Released on October 12, 2015 (Wicked Faith)

Review:
Wicked Faith are a four piece band from Norwich, UK formed in 2011. Warpaint is their second album, released late in 2015. I’m hearing metal. But to my surprise, over the length of the album, I also hear jazz vocals, ska & reggae bass, and punk & blues guitars. I can hear eclectic influences on every song. Whatever, it’s hard to draw a comparison overall, and I’m not sure I want to. A good metal album with flavours of different genres prevents specific comparison -– it stands on its own. As Wicked Faith sing, “…what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Wicked Faith position themselves as a “female-fronted” band, where both singer and bass player are female. I think that’s too bad they feel the need to do that. Most people would say who cares as long as the music rocks. And Warpaint rocks. Singer Jade Murray uses her voice as an instrument, as an extension of the band. Originally, I was going to compare her to Anna Savage from Vanity Blvd. Same kind of killer vocalizations, but I think Murray has more range. She’s taking risks and pulling it off nine times out of ten. “Gallows” is a perfect example, as is “Key Beneath The Door.” Once or twice, she falls short, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s forgivable.

I spoke with bassist Mia Webster from Wicked Faith and asked her what the band wants fans to know about this record. She stated, “When we started writing this album, we were very strict on what ended up being on the album. In today’s culture of listening to a single track by an artist, we made such a big effort to have 11 songs that all had their own identity.” Webster went on to add, “We also decided from the start that we would only write songs that felt right, rather than stick to a traditional hard rock ‘formula’. All our favourite bands from Led Zeppelin, to [Black] Sabbath, Faith No More and Heart always wrote the music they wanted to, and that would draw in other musical styles and influences.  It seems that a lot of bands [have] stopped taking risks.”

Well congratulations! Wicked Faith have done well. The influences are there, to be sure. The opening track “The Devil Can’t Have Me Yet” is a reflection of that. Strains of Faith No More, Metallica, maybe even the Sex Pistols if you want to push it. The production is excellent. I can hear every instrument’s lines clearly. The snare in particular sounds really good, but I’m a drummer, I’m biased. My only criticism is the vocals tend to overpower the music on some tracks. But that might just be a result of Murray and her booming voice. I happened to be listening to “Diamonds For Dust” while chatting with the band. I love the groove interplay between guitar and bass, and asked Webster to give me the story behind the song. She stated, “It’s actually about trust, and how you can tell someone something so important, but they can use it to trash you. So turning something very precious into something very unimportant and throw away.” I’m hoping Wicked Faith don’t feel that way about this review!

Wicked Faith have something good going for them. Their album Warpaint is easily going into my MP3 mix.

Track List:
01. The Devil Can’t Have Me Yet
02. Chapters
03. Key Beneath the Door
04. Diamonds For Dust
05. This Is Not The End
06. Ashes
07. Shallow Waters
08. Easy Prey
09. Hunt You
10. Gallows
11. Forever Falls Apart

Band Members:
Jade Murray – vocals
Tim Frost – guitar
Mia Webster – bass
Matt Dove – drums

Band Websites:
Official Website
Facebook

Reviewed by Metal Mike for Sleaze Roxx, February 2016