Audio Mixer: Ed Rawls.
Atlanta quintet Warehouse follow up their 2014 debut with Super Low, a crafty and ultimately more focused second helping of their unique, nervy art-pop. After forming in 2012, the band spent a couple of years gigging regionally and constructing a sort of visceral post-punk sound that was high on intricacy, though with enough melodic flourishes to still connect. At the time of their debut, the name dropping of bands like Stereolab and Wire helped to establish a bit of where they were coming from, but on Super Low, they reveal more localized influences, citing nearby Athens -- the college rock spawning ground of R.E.M., the B-52's, and Pylon -- as a place of great interest. Certainly there is something of the Athens-inspired sound in the spiny, minimalist jangle of dueling guitarists Alex Bailey and Ben Jackson, especially on tracks like "Simultaneous Contrasts" and the album's title track. At the dead center of Warehouse's sound, though, is singer Elaine Edenfield, whose ragged wail is as off-putting as it is engaging. While her affected style takes some getting used to, it gives a powerful immediacy to highlights like "Reservoir" and "Exit Only," the latter of which begins with a majestic hoarse roar that would make Black Francis smile. Beyond the effectiveness of Edenfield's presence are her artfully obscure lyrics and the band's flirtations with strong melodies that dance carefully just outside lines of the obvious. Warehouse may have stirred up some curiosity with their debut, but the growth they display on Super Low puts them on the map. ~ Timothy Monger