Come Down

The Dandy Warhols

Capitol Records, 1997

http://www.dandywarhols.com

REVIEW BY: George Agnos

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/09/1998

Today, rock bands are constantly searching for that special sound that will get them noticed. But sometimes, in looking for that sound, they forget that it is the songs themselves that make a bold statement. Take the DandyWarhols, for example; on their latest release, Come Down, vocalist and guitarist Courtney Taylor has written some really good songs, but these are few and far between as the band seems to be more interested in maintaining their hypnotic, twisted, psychedelic sound than in providing strong songs.

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The single off the album is "Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth" which is a clever song with its catchy "Heroin is so passe" chorus and some nice backup vocals. This is a great single for the band. I also like "Cool As Kim Deal," a nice tribute to the former Pixies and Breeders singer, with its handclaps and garage-y guitar licks, and "Hard On For Jesus" which sounds like a trippier Foo Fighters song.

The album even starts off well as it establishes its psychedelically drenched sound with "Be-In." The song drones on instrumentally unfolding slowly as the dreamy lyrics kick in. This is followed by its antithesis, "Boys Better" a hooky power-pop raveup puncuated by a sprite organ and distorted guitars.

Even weaker numbers like "Every Day Should Be A Holiday" with boasts some Arabic rhythm, the Lloyd Cole-ish "Good Morning" and the charmingly goofy "Minnesoter" would shine as nice, offbeat numbers on a better album. And had the long, slow, hypnotic "I Love You" had been the only number of its kind, it would have been an interesting change of pace number, but unfortunately it is preceded by the equally long and ponderous "Orange."

To make matters worse, there are two more back to back songs using the same recipe of slow, whispered, moodiness called "Whipping Tree" and "Green." Four songs of this type make the album so hypnotic, I practically fell asleep listening to it. And that's not all folks: if these numbers were not boring enough, the last two tracks up the ante in moodiness with their seemingly endless, instrumental wankery. Moody songs can be effective if they are well written, but these are obvious throwaway numbers from a band with too few good ideas.

What makes Come Down so disappointing is that the Dandy Warhols have a lot going for them in overall talent and an occasionally cool, offbeat sound. Here is hoping that next time they concentrate more on the songs, so they can produce an album that sounds great and has less filling. In the meantime, if you want to hear some good dreamy pop, try Radiohead or Yo La Tengo.

 

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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