The Dandy Warhols - Welcome To The Monkey House

The Dandy Warhols has to be one of the worst names for a band in musical history. It is naff beyond belief and if their intention was to be witty and satirical then i'm afraid they've failed dismally. They're also a bunch of hypocrites. Revelling in sordid tales of rock'n'roll debauchery, what contribution do they make to their chosen craft? Become corporate media whores selling their soul to the devils in advertising for a well known mobile phone company. And if I hear one more story of keyboard player Zia taking her top off at gigs I will despair. Cover yourself up dear, you're not in Tatu you know. Rant over and feeling calmer after my outburst of unexpurgated vitriol I can tell you about The Dandy Warhols latest album "Welcome To The Monkey House". Produced by Courtney Taylor and more interestingly Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes giving the recording an 80s electronic, nostalgic feel.

"The Dope" is trancey electronica with unsettling undertones. Courtney's vocal is hushed, soft and tenderly restrained. There are hardly any guitars to be heard on this uniquely low key offering. This track is moderately catchy, yet strongly forgettable belonging firmly in the category filed under filler fodder. Initially weird and wonderful "I Am Over It" sadly becomes rather repetitive. It lacks a great deal of style and imagination. There aren't any killer hooks or a memorable chorus to speak of either. Slightly better, but only slightly is the softer sounding "You Were The Last High" which with a deadpan vocal delivery has a dreamy appeal. It has the jolly polished quality of the Lightning Seeds if a little sleazier.

On Heavenly" Courtney turns into the singer from The Beloved by blatantly nicking his technique and style. Occasional bursts of guitar fail to lift the track out of the doldrums and ultimately smacks of unoriginality and mind numbing banality. "You Come In Burned" is an epic seven and a half minute opus. It slowly builds up the tension with a lilting techno backing. Trouble is though the track never progresses, ultimately becoming a pretentious, self indulgent drone.

Any band which uses influences from Gary Numan, Thomas Dolby, The Human League and David Bowie has to be applauded. Unfortunately the Dandy Warhols have more ideas than they know what to do with resulting in a frustrating album. There are flashes of genius and moments of innovation, but not enough to matter. They have the potential and the ambition, but not the discipline to make it truly work.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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