The Dandy Warhols - Distortland

The Dandy Warhols – Distortland

‘Distortland’ seems an apt title for an album of these (strange) days. The latest album by The Dandy Warhols will be available on CD, (poly)vinyl, digital and, guess what, on cassette too –regret getting rid of your ‘walk-man’ already? Apparently, The Dandy Warhol’s frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor first recorded this new album on an 80’s cassette recorder.  The long-awaited launch by the outfit from Portland, Oregon is their tenth album –the previous ‘This Machine’ was released back in 2012, when the cassette still was something old-fashioned, imagine!

‘Search Party’, the opening track might be a bit misleading judging by its title, as it’s rather far from a party tune and I’d dare to say that I also find it a bit plain. Still, it’s a kind pop tune, vaguely original due to its blend of soothing mantra-like singing with an eerie synth melody. It’s their (search for) party, anyway, and they cry if they want to. Fair enough.

‘Semper Fidelis’ brings even more killer synth sounds, gracefully combined with psych guitars. Funnily enough, there’s a perfect synchronisation with my fridge’s weird sounds -no offence though, showbiz people could call this ambient pop or something and still sound cool and make a good impression.

‘Pope Reverend Jim’ is definitely the proof that I should give them a chance before I let my bloody and always ignorant prejudices talk on my behalf. A pop song for this Pope then, where you can almost smell the sea breeze through its surf rock drenched melody. Award-winning producer and engineer Jim Lowe (Taylor Swift, Beyonce, The Foo Fighters, Manic Street Preachers and many, many more) has mixed the album and this could explain the ‘pop structure’ behind ‘Distortland’.

‘Catcher In The Rye’ seems the perfect soundtrack for the twisted novel, as you can easily visualise Holden Caulfield wandering from one den to another, lost in the wildness and devastation of the city at night. Nevertheless, it’s the rather cryptic and enigmatic ‘STYGGO’ that draws attention to the album cover, a smoggy skyline of an anonymous city. ‘STYGGO’s eye-catching chorus belongs to that kind of song that makes you wonder: “Wait. What am I listening to?”.

‘Give’ moves along private grounds. “To figure it out my life”, a thoughtful snapshot from its lyrics. A song that, in a way, smells like nostalgia and it ends with a disturbing promise: “I won’t give you away again”. Still, it could suitably fit any Sunday morning, no matter whether you regret what happened last night or not.

At last, the foreseeable hit arrives with ‘You’re Killing Me’. The next catchy hymn. Although it’s far from smash hits of a golden past era such as ‘Bohemian Like You’ and ‘Get Off’, by the end of this song you’ll probably sing out loud “…and that’s why you’re killing meee!”.

Not to weaken the mood, ‘All The Girls In London’ is a cheeky fun track that invites you both to lay back and/or go clubbing. On the other hand, ‘Doves’ leaves the danceable hits-to-be behind and goes back to the distorted atmosphere of the beginning of the album. Finally, ‘The Grow Up Song’ has a punk length (1’41’’) but it couldn’t be further from that. It’s a coda-lullaby for what it could be tagged as an easy-listening album.

The Dandy Warhols will be on tour with this new album, but as shit happens, Manchester is not included among the UK cities. Don’t give up though and check the tour dates here:

Release Date: 8th April 2016 (Dine Alone Records)

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Amaia Santana

Good karma brought me here to Manchester, my second home, where you can stay healthy (despite the weather) and young forever, as you can breathe live music in every corner of the city. I do believe in the healing power of music (rock is my life vest) and I'd be so glad to share my passion with you rockers of the world!