Review: Jack Foley
"BY the end of the great war, The Dandy Warhols had
progressed far beyond the traditional drug band sound...
...And by the time such luminaries as Elvis Presley and BB
King had head this new Warhols sound, they were calling it rock
So begins the new album from The Dandy Warhols - the oddly titled
Odditorium or Warlords of Mars.
The good news is that it's a welcome return for a band that have
not generated any new material since 2003's Welcome To The
What's more, they have resorted to more traditional Dandy Warhols
values, mixing some expansive rock tracks that recall some of
the great bands of yesteryear with some of their own material
from past albums, Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia.
As mentioned, the album kicks off with the quirky monologue that
announces the new form of rock 'n' roll that the Dandys would
like to think they are delivering, before then tripping forward
into a sprawling Love Is The New Feel Awful, with its
epic outlook and flourishes of trumpet.
It's an excellent start that isn't always replicated in the rest
of proceedings - even though they remain strong throughout.
Easy is a classically laidback Dandy Warhols number,
with Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s whispery vocal style dripped
in the drug sound that the earlier monologue suggests has gone.
While the effortlessly hip All The Money Or The Simple Life
Honey is a real blast from the past, complete with more trumpet
flourishes, a foot-tapping beat, some fine melodies and a typically
humourous, anti-work ethic (great for listening to when on holiday,
or driving down a Californian highway).
The good humour continues with the country-style, harmonica-soaked
The New Country, which has an endearing quality that's
difficult to shake.
While Holding Me Up is another of those hopelessly infectious
Dandy Warhols signature tunes that just seem to ooze laidback,
The album seems to get more ambitious in its latter stages, with
tracks like Everyone Is Totally Insane eschewing a more
contemporary rock style, and Taylor-Taylor's vocals awaking from
their comfortable slumber.
While the recent single, Smoke It, finds the band revisiting
and updating the classic sound of their biggest album, Thirteen
Tales From Urban Bohemia, with yet more anti-establishment
The broad rock 'n' roll sweep of Down Like Disco is
truly invigorating, while there's a distinctly retro vibe surrounding
the brooding, wimsical There Is Only This Time, which
seems to be pointing towards the epic stoned style of The Doors
It is one of two tracks that takes a little longer to appreciate
- the other being the final track, A Loan Tonight, which
is the most in yer face effort the band have delivered in a while,
featuring a crunching guitar riff and strained, distorted vocals
that recall the heydey of Pink Floyd, as well as Gary Numan.
Both tracks means the album draws to a close in slightly more
obscure fashion and threaten to distort the overall ease of enjoyment.
But give them enough time and they help to ensure that Odditorium
represents another superb piece of work from the Warhols that
mixes simple pleasures with something a little more emphatic besides.
Related review: DIG!
review (The Dandy Warhols/Brian Jonestown Massacre documentary)