Dandy Warhols - Distortland - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Dandy Warhols - Distortland

by paul_guyet Rating:8 Release Date:2016-04-08

Jesus. The Dandy Warhols have been a thing for over two decades. That's absolutely spectacular. And, either by accident or because their entire career thus far has been a carefully orchestrated series of events, they are releasing their 10th album, Distortland, just about twenty years after their inception.

As its title and cover art indicate, there's a pervasive haze in and around this album, which tends to make the first or second listen seem a bit characterless when compared to their previous works, but, if one persists, they'll see there are definite shapes in the mist, and they're all well built.  

"Semper Fidelis" has a menacing, skittering creep to it that robs honor from its title, and an ominous pulse and chugging, almost heavy metal, guitar, just barely there. "Pope Reverend Jim" starts with a robotic clangor which remains throughout, but is occasionally matched and overcome by some straight up surf rock, something you can twist to. "Catcher In The Rye" has the vibe of a mischievous, sinister Sesame Street. "Give" is downtrodden yet determined. And "STYGGO", which starts out sounding like a Disco/Funk cover of "Sympathy For The Devil" reveals itself to be a pure Dandys groove.

The "realest" track on the album, however, is tucked in just at the end and lasts less than two minutes. It's called "The Grow Up Song". "All of my friends are mommies / even Johnny is a dad / and I'm glad / I guess”. What happens when 90's psych/grunge/pot rockers survive the 90's? When they don't overdose or break up? When they get married and have children of their own? From Courtney Taylor-Taylor's perspective, it sounds kind of sad. And if he is, indeed, "too old for this shit", what does that mean for the future of the Dandy Warhols? After all, they did end up covering "Blackbird"*.

Not everything on Distortland will impress at first listen, but do yourself a favor and stick with it, the stuff you find hidden in the haze is choice.

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