I haven’t been to the gym all week. In fact, I’ve been pretty lazy this week seeing as how it’s a “recovery week”, so I’m not too concerned. I am going tonight however to throw around the heavy iron for 60 minutes or so with ‘…Earth to the Dandy Warhols…‘ album by, duh, The Dandy Warhols.
Truth be told, I didn’t have much faith in this album and I have been kind of avoiding the later albums. Except I didn’t really have any better ideas on what to listen to (Leonard Cohen is hardly He-man music) so I opted to go with this album instead. And, boy, am I glad I did! It’s the total shit! In fact, it probably just jumped to the top of the favorites list as far as the Dandy’s catalog goes.
On ‘…Earth to the Dandy Warhols…‘, Courtney Taylor and company do indeed seem to be a little more down to earth than they were on previous albums, debuting their own label with a much more consistent collection of songs. That’s “consistent” in terms of quality – the Dandy Warhols always seem the most comfortable when they’re hopping from sound to sound, mood to mood, instead of sticking with just one approach for an entire album. If their eclecticism can be considered a signature Warhols sound, then this album definitely has it; it often feels like an update on ‘Thirteen Tales from Modern Bohemia‘.
The band roams from driving, psychedelic rock on the opening track, ‘The World the People Together (Come On)‘ – which, with its trippy strumming and lyrics like “The love that you give is exactly the love that you take,” sounds like a ’60’s love-in shot into space – to ‘Mission Control”s blobby synth rock to ‘Beast of All Saints‘, a massive, empty-hearted ballad that shoots past the band’s own ‘Godless‘ to rival Spiritualized‘s interstellar brooding. The band even does its best impression of the Rolling Stones‘ ‘Miss You‘ on ‘Welcome to the Third World‘, although Taylor’s borderline-obnoxious vocals and attitude undermine some of the song’s cool. Attitude also reigns on the stylishly tongue-in-cheek ‘Talk Radio‘ and more flamboyantly on ‘The Legend of the Last of the Outlaw Truckers aka the Ballad of Sheriff Shorty‘, a psychobilly-tinged rocker embellished with strings and gunfire.
However, the camp factor is surprisingly low on most of the album, as is the number of songs about frenemies and drugs. The band focuses on love, rather than friendships, gone wrong on the deconstructed chamber pop of ‘And Then I Dreamt of Yes‘ and ‘Now You Love Me’‘s minor-key brooding and bragging. Toward the album’s end, however, the band’s restraint unravels, with mixed results: ‘Mis Amigos‘, which is as much about hanging out with friends as it is about pot, is a gleeful, red-eyed fiesta; ‘Valerie Yum‘ starts out as stomping pop, then falls into an aptly slowed down, spoken word section before revving up again; and the final track, ‘Musee d’ Nougat‘ (which, truthfully, could be my fancy new gym nickname) a 15-minute trawl through French-accented vocals and formless synth drones. Interesting if anything else.
The real bitchin; song was ‘Valerie Yum‘, whose choruses of “yum yum yum”‘s and “yummy yummy yummy”‘s you’d think would be annoying as fuck, but you’d be wrong. It’s actually catchy as all get out – addictive even.
Great workout tonight, specifically seeing as how I more or less had the gym to myself and I had better enjoy that since New Years and all the New Years Resolutioner’s are just around the corner and I can expect the gym to overpopulated with complete doofus numbnuts and selfie-takers (click HERE) once again.