Warsaw Pact’s New EP, ‘Extended Play’ Reviewed
Warsaw Pact, a band I saw last year during a Goth fest at the Hi Hat, has a new EP, and I got the chance to listen to it a few days in advance of its official release. As expected, the songs of ‘Extended Play’ are dark and sinister, always haunted by a post-punk ambiance, and it’s always interesting to realize how real the Dark-Wave scene is in sunny Los Angeles, which means you don’t need to live in rainy Manchester to produce an album as cold as ‘Extended Play’.
Founded by Ivan Delint in 2017, Warsaw Pact certainly carries its influences on its album sleeve – but mostly in its moniker, as a double allusion to the ‘Cold’ War and Joy Division’s debut album – with a powerful post-punk-meets-the-dance-scene vibe, which earned them several New Order comparisons. The eight tracks will please all the Goths out there who avoid daylight, starting with a well-named central track, ‘Midnight Cure’, a song about regret animated by an almost-disco bounce mixed with obsessive guitars running around vocals which seem to be coming from the deepest bat cave.
During the course of the 8 tracks, Warsaw Pact consistently keep their chill climates in the shade, even during the purely instrumental ‘Introduction’ where the Interpol-era aura of the guitars deepens a groove into a loud distortion.
The ringing guitars of ‘Deadvlei ‘may let a bit of light filter through the more aggressive tone of the vocals, but if you believe the mysterious title of the song, these somber and menacing bass lines may actually evoke the driest place on earth, a desiccated lake located in Namibia. ‘Lights’ and ‘Afflictions, still habited by Delint’s monochord callous baritone, are updating New Order icy dancefloors, with a climactic tension during ‘Afflictions’, while the short mid-EP instrumental ‘Interlude I’ opens a cinematic atmosphere which keeps us on the edge.
With evocative lyrics – ‘Dive down and meet with me where my antics have no end/But don’t try to change this permanent black and white’ – the more dreamy side of ‘The Silent’ floats between several indie pop territories but never flirts with the upbeat, leading to the closing track, ‘Catharsis’, whose long introduction of Interpol-like pulsating guitars builds tension and obscurity, but evaporates before reaching true catharsis.
‘Extended Play’, which will be released on June 15th, is a modern twist on a timeless genre delivered with the appropriate coolness. With its plummeting moments and its introspective tone, it is danceable music for a dark room, while the bright sun is burning outside.