...The Dandy Warhols Come Down

CD Cover The Dandy Warhols
Tim Kerr / Capital

Review by Darren Gawle

45-second excerpt from "Boys Better" (various formats)

This CD's liner notes include thanks to Capitol Records for "allowing us to be as fucked up as we are in the hopes that we're as brilliant as we told them we are." ...Come Down is the Dandys' second debut album for Capitol -- the first was ixnayed by the label for being too "un-commercial" -- and it does show off a band that has far more going on upstairs than do most of the 'alternative' acts that the major labels have been inflicting on us over the past few years.

You want retro? The Dandys have a keener sense of what made bands like Buffalo Springfield and Creedence Clearwater Revival tick than just about any other North American band around. "Boys Better" rocks like possibly the best song Neil Young never wrote, while, in "Minnesoter" and "Whipping Tree," the Dandys re-create a very late-sixties sense of acid-induced paranoia.

You want pop songwriting? Check out current single "Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth," which not only has a cracking tune, but is also long overdue in its send-up of hackneyed youth angst affectation: "Shouldn't you have got a couple of piercings and decided maybe you were gay? / I never thought you'd be a junkie because heroin is so passé."

In fact, with "Junkie," you get the impression that, over most of the album, the Dandys are taking the piss. "Every Day Should be a Holiday" has a melody which quotes "Hungry Like the Wolf," while "Cool as Kim Deal" hints that vocalist Courtney Taylor could probably knock off decent songs while sitting on the toilet -- as if to say, "You want commercial? Here's your radio-friendly unit shifter, asshole."

These more-commercial songs on do have the dubious honor of sounding like filler tracks, though they're still miles ahead of most other 'tunes' these days. It's the effects-pedal wigouts ("Pete International Airport", "Be-In") that tend to be more gratifying in the long run.

Ultimately, what we have here is a band intelligent enough to know how to jerk off their record label and still produce one of the best albums of the year.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on September 13, 1997

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