The Dandy Warhols - Odditorium Or Warlords Of Mars

The Dandy Warhols are all over the place at the moment. On cinema screens they've appeared in the documentary DIG! with the Brian Jonestown Massacre and have already been heard advertising mobile phones on TV. Switch on the radio and no doubt you'll hear one of their many hits so is there any escape from this band from Portland? Apparently not because their new album "Odditorium or Warlords Of Mars" is to be unleashed.

Surprisingly this album is less experimental than "Welcome To The Monkey House" album and have more in common with their earlier releases. It's raw and less polished than their predecessor, but their over indulgence makes this a very hit and miss affair. "Easy" has a very mannered vocal delivery from frontman Courtney Taylor, which begins in a whispered hush than mutates into a falsetto Prince style delivery. Peter Homstoms guitar playing evokes 70s funk with sleaze personified. The lyrics are indecipherable with a heavy bass line that's wickedly hypnotic. It's atmospheric leanings are naturally bolstered by harmonica snatches which makes you feel hazy until the brassy jazzy free form jam begins, which doesn't know when quite to end making this lengthy track a bit of a muso w*nk fest.

"The New Country" is an ill advised country pastiche, misjudged, neither funny or necessary. It's quite catchy and unusual but feels ill at odds with the rest of the songs on this collection. Perhaps it seemed like a good idea at the time. "Down Like Disco" sounds like a filler track. Average and unremarkable the weirdness with the Dandy Warhols appears very controlled and calculated. Contrived is a word that springs to mind.

"A Loon Tonight" has repetitive guitar, with a vocal that's so appallingly off kilter you suspect Courtney was barely conscious when he recorded it. This soporific sorry excuse for a song meanders on for a tortuous eleven minutes. "Are You Coming Home Tonight?" he pleads. Not on your nelly you misguided buffoon.

As a singles band it's fair to say they've had a few good tunes even if they did all remind us of the Rolling Stones, but as an albums band they fall at every hurdle with "Odditorium Or Warlords Of Mars" being their weakest to date

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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