It has been a few months shy of three years since Warpaint released their eponymous sophomore album, and six years since their debut, The Fool. The gestation period for their latest record, Heads Up, is nearly half of what it took Warpaint to make their last album, so perhaps one can assume the band is getting comfortable in its own skin. And while the album’s announcement was somewhat soured by allegations of promotional plagiarism, the stylishly packed four piece have produced higher expectations for themselves than ever before. But these are expectations that they do not meet on their new album.

Warpaint once would have garnered a number of flattering comparisons: Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cocteau Twins and other moody experimental pop artists. On Heads Up, the comparisons are less flattering; lightweight contemporaries like Chrvches are the first that spring to mind. In fact, Warpaint seems to have eschewed much of the artistic momentum they once possessed in favour of a more commercially viable indietronica-style sound. It is quite disappointing to hear a band that once possessed such a versatile, dynamic sound shift gears for a more generic, commercial angle.

This isn’t to say that the songs on Heads Up are bad. Much like large swathes of Chrvches’ catalog, the tracks aren’t outwardly offensive. I can even admit being lifted out of my chair to dance by lead single ‘New Song’. It touts a compelling groove and a hook that you just know was constructed to get lodged in listeners’ brains. But what most of these songs are is forgettable. There a few good grooves, but otherwise the album is mostly a flat collection of 11 songs, all but one of which go over four minutes in length.

It is probably no coincidence that the best track on Heads Up, ‘The Stall,’ is a near-perfect mesh of the new, “funky” formula they went with and their older atmospheric, post-punk. Distant guitar flourishes hide behind a lithe groove that eventually gives way to include fluttering disco strokes behind a smoky vocal melody.

Unfortunately, ‘The Stall’ is more the exception than the rule on Heads Up. I want to refrain from suggesting that the reduced time between albums resulted in a weaker product, but I do know that I enjoyed the prior two LPs significantly more than this one. Heads Up feels like an album bound to be forgotten.