It’s a silly name, of course, one guaranteed to discourage people from taking them seriously. And maybe seriousness isn’t the issue anyway. Maybe the point of the Dandy Warhols of Portland, Oregon, is simply to inject some genuine psych-punk abandon into the sluggish bloodstream of American rock. Which they do rather well, as it happens.
Following up and surpassing ‘Dandys Rule OK’, their 1995 debut, …The Dandy Warhols Come Down is the most exhilarating ’60s-into-’90s excursion yet attempted by an American band. The Warhols are masters of the hypnotically droning riff delivered in waves of fuzz guitar and garage-band keyboards that recall everything from the Seeds and the Velvets to Stereolab and Spiritualized. This is post Jesus-and Mary Chain pop that abuts the darker territory of psychedelia and kraut rock. Charismatic frontman Courtney Taylor has the ’60s down pat, but he never sounds retro-mu sty. (‘Every Day Should Be a Holiday’ could be an acid-house remix of ZZ Top’s ‘Legs’, and you can’t get much less 60’s than that.)
After the chemical-rush kick start of ‘Be-In’ and the adrenalized, Papas Fritas-meet-the-B-52’s charge of ‘Boys Better’ and ‘Minnasoter’ ‘…The Dandy Warhols Come Down’ falters somewhat with the morose ‘Orange’ and ‘I Love You.’ But it picks up again with the single, ‘Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth,’ a lament for the alt.culture of the Pacific northwest, and whose prosaic lyrics makes it a uniquely moving anti-heroin song. Four tracks later, ‘Green’ is tinglingly pretty, and ‘Hard On For Jesus’ mates a surging Chocolate Watch Band riff to blissed-out Brit-pop vocals and maniac synth squiggles. If this is the Dandy Warhols comi ng down, the mind boggles at the thought of the flying high.
Label: Capitol records/ Tim Kerr records
2 x LP, gatefold, original copie
Alternative, indie, garage