As The Dandy Warhols prepare to release their ninth studio album This Machine, we wonder if it’ll be any different? And do we want it to be?
Since being dropped by Capitol in 2007, the Dandy Warhols’ career hasn’t stalled as many bands’ do when the financial clout and backing of a major label is suddenly withdrawn. Their career has generated eight albums to date, this being their ninth and the third without Capitol, so you’d assume they have enough in the bank to take them onwards at their own leisurely, sauntering pace, which you’d imagine would suit them quite nicely. And, unsurprisingly, This Machine isn’t that much different from any of their other output either, they have a formula, it works, they ain’t gonna budge from it anytime soon.
This Machine is perhaps a tad grittier in production than some of its predecessors. ‘Sad Vacation’ opens the album with a dirty bassline and little jabs of ghostly feedback backing Courtney’s half whispered, gravelly vocals. ‘Enjoy Yourself’ is more upbeat, a hint of eighties electro underpinning the verses into the multilayered harmonies of the chorus. The mostly instrumental ‘Alternative Power To The People’ is punky and punchy, which works in nice contrast to the moody, laid back ‘Well They’re Gone’. ‘6 Tons’ is loosely bluesy, a tad flippant and more than a little Tom Waits-esque circa the Mule Variations album. ‘SETI vs Wow! Signal’ is reminiscent of the Dandy’s around their first two albums, dense vocals becoming catchier the more you hear them. Album closer ‘Slide’ is perhaps the standout track of the record, moody, trippy, soothing, sprawling here and there, a musical progression for the soon to be stoned. It’s fabulously self indulgent.
This Machine is the Dandy’s continuing pretty much on the same trajectory as they’ve always maintained. Their style and sound they’ve never really shown much interest in changing, sticking to being themselves and with a devoted and loyal fanbase, they’ve no need to divert from it. The emphasis here is more on the guitar pop of their early records than the synth heavy material that preceded their departure from Capitol. The days of Vodafone adverts and highly charting records are perhaps a thing of the not too distant past, but whilst ever they’ve still got their mojo, each new record is still one to look forward to.
Check out album opener ‘Sad Vacation’ below.
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