Warehouse has drawn comparisons to several bands that are hard for me to fathom. That’s mostly a good thing, as it means the Atlanta five-piece is hard to pin down. Some hear shades of Pylon in Warehouse’s debut album Tesseract – which I suppose are there insofar as both bands feature unconventional female vocalists and ringing guitar notes instead of power chords. However Warehouse sports two guitarists, and in place of Pylon’s primitive grooves their circuitous patterns entwine and collide. Rarely does a Warehouse song end in the same area code in which it began.
With the new super low the namechecks have shifted to Toronto’s excellent Dilly Dally, thanks to Warehouse vocalist Elaine Edenfield’s raspy growl and its similarity to that of Dilly Dally’s Katie Monk. While the likeness in their voices is inescapable, Warehouse’s music is knottier and mostly devoid of the latter’s Big Rock Swagger.
Which is a long-winded way of saying Warehouse sounds mostly like Warehouse – a math rock outfit unconcerned with making things easy. If I were to attempt a comparison, it would be to the genre-defying bands that dotted Dischord’s 1990s roster.
super low is best approached starting with side two, where the tempo shifts are less abrupt and the hooks somewhat more immediate. It also gets you more quickly to “Reservoir,” the album’s hands-down standout, on which Edenfield reveals an added layer of vulnerability and her mates deliver something resembling a conventional chorus. It rivals the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Maps” as a pace-changing showpiece. From there Warehouse slows the beat further on “Long Exposure,” again to good effect, before flirting with danceability on “Modifier Analog.”
Last year Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves called out Warehouse as one of her favorite Atlanta bands, and with super low it’s become easier to understand why. Both bands challenge their audiences, albeit in somewhat different ways – a tinnitus checkup is less likely to be required after a Warehouse show, for instance. super low offers just enough entry hatches to hold the casual listener until the deeper hooks work their way under your skin.