A little over 20 years and nine albums later, The Dandy Warhols are far from done. Distortland, their tenth release, hits stores today (April 8th) and the band is currently on the road supporting the album in a string of April shows that kicked off last week. Recorded in frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s basement on an ‘80s cassette recorder, Distortland draws listeners right in with a gritty, vintage feel and is truly a psych-rock treat from start to finish.
“Search Party,” a cheery guitar-driven track layered with spacey, ambient vocals echoing throughout, leads off the new album with an atmospheric vibe. However, the sound quickly builds over the next two tracks, thanks to the pulsing electronics of “Semper Fidelis” and the rocking “Pope Reverend Jim.” An easy standout on Distortland, the hypnotizing and rhythmic “STYGGO” (Some Things You Gotta Get Over) offers a series of stark observations regarding the demise of modern society and our own apathy in breaking the cycle. The trancelike nature of this latest single serves as a metaphor for the song’s message of people blindly buying into whatever they’re fed. “Everybody’s sailing on the ship that they sell ya, high ho, it’s all the things they don’t tell ya,” Taylor-Taylor sings, as he breaks the bad news in a smooth and sultry tone that makes it feel easier to cope with.
While “You Are Killing Me” and “All the Girls in London” eagerly continue the Distortland’s upbeat tone into the later half of the album, swelling guitars in the slow and winding “Doves” slow the pace and provide a warmly melodic contrast to the preceding material. The cool-down continues with “The Grow Up Song,” as Taylor-Taylor abruptly concludes, “I’ve got to admit, I’m too old for this shit,” a statement that hardly feels plausible after Distortland’s display of seemingly endless energy.
Mixed by Jim Lowe, who is known from his work with Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, Distortland delivers, bringing more of the signature sound that the band’s listeners have enjoyed throughout the years. With two Bowery Ballroom gigs just around the corner on April 12th and 13th, it won’t be long before local fans can catch their first live look at the new material they’ve been anxiously awaiting.
Article: Nicole Shyti