DROPPED BY CAPITOL RECORDS after a decade of modest success, the Dandy Warhols decided to release Earth to the Dandy Warhols, their latest album, on their own imprint, Beat the World. The newfound freedom seems to have energized the aging enfants terribles, making this their most engaging collection in eight years. Like the band’s 2000 breakthrough, Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia, Earth to the Dandy Warhols finds the foursome doing what they do best: eschewing verse-chorus structures for blissful stone ’n’ drone grooves constructed around lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s opium-den whispers. Like a loopy pop treasure-hunt, Taylor-Taylor and company drop familiar melodic references and lyrical snippets here and there that will have rock fetishists poring over their vinyl. If you keep your ears peeled, you’ll hear bread crumbs from the likes of Donna Summer, the Rolling Stones, Love and Rockets, David Bowie, and the Little River Band scattered throughout. But this is still the Dandys’ trip, and as long as you skip over “Musee D’Nougat,” the aimless 14-minute synthesizer fog bank that closes the album, it’s one worth taking.
This article appeared in the August 2008 issue of Portland Monthly.