Lost in a flurry of colors in “Creaky Crooked Woman” or wandering through bucolic fields in “Delaware Cornfields,” War Panties don’t look like musicians uncomfortable with being themselves in every situation. There’s an honesty to their loose style of symbolism in the lyrics of these two singles and the music videos made in support of their release, but this isn’t the only way in which War Panties endear themselves to us. “Creaky Crooked Woman” and “Delaware Cornfields” offer two sides of the same all-American coin, and if it’s representative of this band’s overall duality, they shouldn’t have a hard time finding an audience at all.
As captivating and surreal as the two music videos for these songs are, it’s the melodic trappings of the tracks that makes for the most excitement. Stoking the flame from beneath a thick guitar-powered groove, we find a blues harmony in “Creaky Crooked Woman” that feels like it’s been awakened out of a ghostly slumber. The same can be said for the subtle swing of “Delaware Cornfields,” particularly when the song is flexing some vocal muscle. My overall take? This crew values substance over anything and everything else when creating new material.
There was no need for a thick bottom-end in “Creaky Crooked Woman” for us to feel the push of the rhythm with all of the might War Panties can muster, and personally I think anything additional in this mix would have simply got in the way. Sometimes less really can be more, and for what this band is trying to accomplish (whether playing an acoustic or an electric song the same), their adherence to a barebones aesthetic helps to facilitate our interest in the other details within their sound. There are shades of country, folk, blues, garage rock and even a touch of funk in this music, all there for us to appreciate if keen enough to listen closely.
The vocal harmonies here are a little retro for what I would usually like as a fan, but they support the hooks beautifully and add to the soulfulness of both singles without question. Part of the reason why I’m hesitant to say War Panties are anything other than a purebred alternative act at this point in time is because of how many directions they could take their music if they see fit. “Delaware Cornfields” might as well be a template for crossovers into country’s next wave of indie music; right now, it’s giving me everything in need to know about this group’s potential.
War Panties are definitely as wild as their handle would suggest they are, and “Delaware Cornfields” and “Creaky Crooked Woman” are more than enough to make me a fan of their music moving forward. There are a lot of rough edges that they’re going to need to address in order to manage a market more expansive than just that of the niche alternative scene, but if you’re looking for hot indie songwriting that doesn’t play by anyone’s rules, you can’t go wrong with these two tracks at all.