The Dandy Warhols - The Dandy Warhols Come Down
Truth be told, the biggest influence, musical or otherwise, on the Dandy Warhols is Temazapan, or something equivalent. Right from the start, "Be-In" has that feel of a song which is being played to wake you up after a heavy night on the chemicals, with a droning, repetitious hook over a driving riff. Never let it be said that the Dandy's were afraid of a good riff. Several of the tracks on this album start in search of a riff, and once they find it, usually after 30 seconds or so, they just keep playing it. Check out "Boys Better", "Minnesoter" or my personal favourite, "Good Morning" if you don't believe me. In the end, the riff becomes the drug in itself, an almost narcotic, hallucination-inducing sequence which lulls you into submission. And by the time you get to "Pete International Airport" you realise that particular track is the culmination of some serious drug taking for the only way to understand the mess that it is, is surely through a miasmic haze of some illicit substance.
Never let it be said either that the Dandy's make an album where every track sounds the same. When they are not driving riffs into your head, they try moving you into a world where pop rules. "Every Day Should Be a Holiday" sounds like a nice, happy song - at the start. It takes a while, and a closer listen to the lyrics, before you realise that there is a darker side to it. And if the Dandy's ever thought that "Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth" would get mainstream airplay, in spite of infectious pop credentials, then they were deluding themselves. Having said that, it would have been well worth it to hear a generation of teenagers in the playground quietly humming to themselves -
"Coz heroin is so passé".
However, there are moments when the band decide they have something to say. "Hard-on for Jesus" certainly lacks in subtlety but hits hard at the religion-obsessed fanatic culture of certain elements in the band's native US. And let's face it, who wouldn't want someone who's as "Cool as Kim Deal". If you're going to do some name dropping, the former Pixies bassist is about as cool as you're going to get.
But before long you are back to the riff. The final one grinds into you for eight minutes as the album plays out - and if a word is spoken throughout "The Creep Out" it is barely audible. And there you have it: the Dandy Warhols' second album: more psychedelia than pop; more drone than dance. Listen to it sober. You'll find it an enjoyable listen and before long your foot will be tapping along too. If you listen to it stoned you might gain a whole new appreciation for it. However, I take things as they are, so I'll leave that particular experience to others
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